Sermons & Podcasts: Relationships, Gender Roles, Romance, and Marriage

Hello, lovely readers! I just listened to a sermon from David Platt today while cleaning windows that was so powerful! And so I want to share some snippets from that sermon as well as some of the other sermons I’ve listened to on this subject … The subject of marriage! ūüôā

Relationships, Gender Roles, Romance, and Marriage – the Best Sermons/Podcasts I’ve Heard

David Platt – Attachment: The Gospel and Marriage

“How we respond to these texts [on marriage] has a direct affect on our ability to show the gospel to the nations.”

“All across the culture – all across the Church – Christ is being slandered by how we live out marriage.”

“Husbands, when you ignore your wife, you’re telling the world that Christ ignores His Church.”

“Wives, when you disrespect your husband you’re telling the world that the Church does not respect Christ.”

“Husbands, I believe that Scripture teaches that you have a responsibility for the loveliness and holiness of your wife. … You are accountable to God by the way you lead your wife to loveliness and holiness.”

“This picture of headship should have every husband trembling before God.”

“Together, Husband and Wife, you preach the gospel to the world by the way you love each other.”

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David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Part 1

David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Part 2

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Ben Stuart – Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Single

Ben Stuart – Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Who to Date

Ben Stuart – Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: How to Date

Ben Stuart – Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: How to Know that You Know

Ben Stuart – Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: The Best Marriage

Ben Stuart – Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Marriage on Mission

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Voddie Baucham – Biblical Manhood

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9am Plenary Wed 20 October 2010.Photo: Micah Chiang

Is a Similar Sense of Calling Required for Marriage? // Ask Pastor John

John Piper – When a Man Loves a Woman Well

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I felt inspired to share what’s been on my heart lately. It’s a lot. I’ll try to get it all out coherently and hopefully not ramble on forever.

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I’m a single woman in her twenties this Valentine‚Äôs Day.

And I am so thankful!

Yes, I still want to be married. Very much so.

But I see no reason to be depressed and unhappy as a single person ‚Äď not on Valentine‚Äôs Day, not on any day. See, God Himself carefully and beautifully formed me in my mother‚Äôs womb some twenty-three years ago. He knew me and all of my days before He formed me. He knows my heart. My visions. My passions. My hope. My pain. He knows my sorrow. And He‚Äôs here. He‚Äôs listening.

Many days I have felt unhappy and depressed. The longings for marriage and companionship and motherhood so intense … and I cried out to God with my aching heart and questions. And I realize He listened. He’s listening. All this time, He’s known and heard my longings and my wonderings and He’s been here. I have not been alone.

It‚Äôs like with Job (though Job‚Äôs pain and distress was on a much, much larger scale, of course). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Bible says Job did not sin in crying out, in venting, in pouring out all the hurt and confusion. But you might ask, why then did God never answer the question why? What is the point of the story of Job anyway? Well here‚Äôs what I think it is:

  • God shows us that we are not alone. Sometimes the scariest thing about tragedy or pain is the fear that I might suffer alone. In this book, God shows Job he is not alone. The God of the universe, who set all things into motion, cares enough for one, seemingly insignificant human being amidst millions and billions of other human beings, to answer Job in his pain. Not only is God listening, but He cares enough to answer Job. To show Job HE IS HERE.
  • God‚Äôs ways are so much different than ours. So much bigger and more amazing than we could ever imagine. God shows us that we can‚Äôt understand His work. The work He is doing. But we can trust Him because He cares. And He is mighty. And He is at work.

I‚Äôm not accusing you if you are feeling depressed or lonely or unhappy this Valentine‚Äôs Day. In fact, I understand. I’ve been there. Some days it seems silly to be unhappy just because a day is dedicated to romance … other days the pain is real. And God knows your heart. So pour out those feelings. But then, like Job, come out of the confusion and sorrow. Come out!

Isaiah 43:19-21

19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.
21 This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

See, I know God is listening to my prayers. I know He cares about me. I know He is taking care of me. I know He is working in my life ‚Äď working out my future.

What’s more, I glimpse His majesty and holiness and grace and mercy! His tender love.

I am an unmarried woman this Valentine‚Äôs Day and I am so blessed! The fact is, God has already given me way more than I deserve! He has rescued my soul from darkness and brought me into His incredible light. I am saved. Sometimes our minds can‚Äôt grasp the magnitude of that. But I am one of billions of people and the ancient God who is outside of time ‚Äď beginning and end ‚Äď pursued me. Me. Little old insignificant me who really has nothing to bring to the table.

Hosea 2:14-15

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Not only that, but He keeps pursuing me every day. I see evidence of it in my life. I see the way He used anxiety and loneliness to push me to seek Him. I see the way that has urged me to cry out to Him while in depression instead of giving into the lies of Satan. I see the way He’s sustained me through dark mornings and fearful nights, and brought me out of that.

I see the way He‚Äôs used singleness to grow me closer to my siblings and friends. I see the way He‚Äôs put purpose and mission and ideas into my isolated life. I see the way He‚Äôs placed people in my path to reach out to. I see the way He prompts friends to send life-giving words when I need them the most, and uses random people to encourage my heart when I feel disillusioned. I see the people He’s woven into my life at just the right moments. I look back and see the way He‚Äôs orchestrated the details of my life‚Ķ

And I’m profoundly thankful.

And I realize that He will continue to orchestrate the details of my life. I‚Äôm by no means of the though process that I could have planned my life better than God. I see clearly ‚Äď for today, at least ‚Äď how foolish that is.

Yes, I’ve wanted to get married for as long as I can remember. I tenderly cared for my baby dolls and I distinctly remember telling my mom around four or five-years-old that I wanted to get married. I had my first crush when I was thirteen, and the pages of my diary testify that I hoped and somewhat believed I would grow up and marry him.

I wrote my first letter to my future husband at age fourteen or fifteen. I remember talking to my friends, quite seriously, about marriage and motherhood and faith and other deep issues at fifteen. I didn’t think I was ready for it, yet I did. I was made for marriage and homemaking! My mom, aunts, and friends married in their late teens (not all, but many) and embraced homemaking and motherhood. I wanted to do the same. I had a vision for marriage and writing and serving Jesus.

At age eighteen, I felt distressed on Valentine’s Day because I was really, truly old enough for dating but had no prospects in sight.

Since then, my desire for marriage has only increased. I want to be a wife, a helpmeet, a companion, a friend. I want to be a mommy. I want to be a homemaker.

When people talk about

  • loving, helping, and supporting their husband as he does his God-given kingdom work
  • making their house a warm, welcoming place
  • raising my own children to know the love of God and serve Him
  • proclaiming Jesus’ love by the way they nurture people (husband, children, brothers & sisters in Christ, lonely singles, hurting young women, etc.)
  • a home atmosphere that shines a light
  • having girls or moms over for coffee
  • having people over for dinner regularly in their home
  • homemaking for the glory of Christ
  • hosting and hospitality

my heart nearly bursts with passion! I have such a vision for this. This is what I want to do with my life. This is what I long to do with a strong companion, my husband, for all the days of my life here on earth. This is the kingdom work I want to do for God’s glory and for the reaching of people and for the sake of love.

And the more I pray about it, read Christian books on it, listen to sermons, and talk to godly friends, the more I feel like God placed these desires and visions in my heart.

So why am I not married, you might ask? Why am I not joyfully serving and caring for people by a good man’s side?

Doesn’t it seem like that would be more profitable in the kingdom of God, in my life, in other’s lives than me just trying to find things to do while my vision is unfulfilled? I’m grappling with this intense longing to have a husband and children. I’m struggling with different life issues and concerns that might not be there if I were married. I’m working at a job that I have no real passion for. I’m trying to reach out and help, mentor, and serve people … but oftentimes it seems like my plans fall through or fall flat.

So the temptation is to be depressed and unhappy. And ask why. Why, God, am I not married yet? I feel like you’ve given me a desire to be a wife and a vision for homemaking, yet there are no godly men pursing me. I feel like I’m not doing very important things right now. Like I’m wasting my life Рmy gifts, talents, passion, and vision. Like I’m trying to do kingdom work and glorify You but nothing is really falling into place. I feel unsettled!

But if I say I believe God is who He says He is, then there is no room to linger in this questioning. If I say I believe God is listening, and He cares about and for me, and He gives me vision and desires, and He is at work in my life ‚Äď in all our lives ‚Äď for His glory and our good, then I also must believe that:

I am right where He wants me to be.

Here. Unmarried. Struggling through different issues. Working with so many little kids I feel like I can’t invest in any of them. Blogging about things I worry might offend fellow Christians and heart thoughts I don’t know if anybody cares about.

This. He’s at work in this. The hard, the mundane, the uncertain, the painful, the unfulfilled longings, the unsettled, the seemingly pointless.

God is at work in my life. He is working in and through me. He has a plan for my life. A glorious plan to make much of His name and bring me and others closer to Him.

And this is a supremely joyful and peace-filled truth!

Yes, I want to be married! But also, yes, I am thankful that I am single right now. Because that’s where God has me.

I know He sees my heart and He knows the plans He has for me. If He wants to fulfill the vision I feel He’s given me for wifehood, motherhood, and homemaking, then He will.

Do I keep praying? Yes, I keep praying. Pray. Pray. Pray. I tell God about my desires and visions and hopes and dreams. I ask Him to fulfill this vision in my life if it is of Him. I ask Him to root out lies and search my heart and remove the offensive ways and lead me closer to Him. I rebuke the Enemy in Jesus’ name. I resist the temptation to sink into hopelessness and despair and depression and desperation.

God is good all the time.

Sometimes I think we do stall God’s plans for our lives by becoming bitter and distrustful. By listening to Satan’s whispers and following all sorts of paths winding in the wrong direction. By no longer trusting our Father with our heart and seeking His face in sweet trust and surrender.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Do you see what I’m trying to say?

Be filled with hope and vision, and pray about and for what you think God is calling you to in life.

But if you feel called to be married yet are single right now, that doesn’t mean that your life is on hold or God is not paying attention.

There is so much to do in life! And if big things feel overwhelming or impossible, start by focusing on the little things. There are so many people who just need you to reach out to them. To stop and listen. To invite them over for supper. To care about them.

Maybe the years keep slipping by and marriage isn’t happening in your life ‚Ķ ask God to give you another vision! This doesn‚Äôt mean your vision for marriage will remain unfulfilled. But maybe you‚Äôve been so focused on marriage you‚Äôve gotten tunnel vision in a world filled with needs.

What about orphans and widows? What about sex trafficking? What about millions of babies being killed through abortion? What about sexual abuse within local churches and families? What about starving children in Africa? What about unreached people groups? What about Christians blinded by false doctrine?

What if God is calling you to stand up and fight back concerning one of these issues? He can bring you into the overwhelming and the impossible and do incredible things through your life!

Sometimes we need to shake things up in our lives. Make some changes. Take a leap of faith ‚Äď big or small. We have to get out of the rut. We have to embrace SURRENDER and HOPE and FAITH and more than we could even IMAGINE or ASK FOR.

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I’m still praying about and for marriage and the chance to serve and thrive within wifehood, motherhood, and homemaking.

I’m also just praying, with great hope and joy, for God to use my life in His kingdom work.

I‚Äôve decided to move out of my parent‚Äôs home. Out of state. To shake things up a little and take a step into the unknown. I‚Äôm twenty-three and I‚Äôve been living at home for basically my whole life. Planning to move out when I get married…

Well, it’s time for a change.

Time for friends in my season of life who I can journey alongside as we all follow after Jesus. Time for a strong, passionate, Christ-like community around me. Time for a new beginning. Time to leave behind some of the weights that so easily entangle me. Time for new challenges that will grow and stretch me ‚Äď body, mind, and spirit. Time for a new perspective.

This Valentine’s Day, I count myself wondrously blessed! I have no reason to complain. I have a Father God who is involved in every detail of my life. There is much hope.

Grow in grace, dear readers. ‚̧

1 Peter 5:6-11

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Is Attraction Necessary?

Tall, dark, and handsome.

Beauty and physical attraction are highly important in the world’s eyes. We can see it in the movies, social media, Hollywood, and many other places in culture. If he’s devastatingly handsome … if she’s drop-dead gorgeous … they’re on the radar. Versus that plain person who didn’t really catch your eye when you walked into the room; surely they couldn’t be your one?

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Sadly, the Church is often influenced by the culture, and I’m sure scores of unmarried Christian men and women have an unspoken ¬†list of who their spouse must be…

He must be:

  • Tall
  • Dark, curly hair
  • Blue eyes
  • Muscular
  • Super fit
  • Strong jaw
  • Etc.

She must be:

  • Small
  • Blonde, straight hair
  • Long legs
  • Brown eyes
  • Curvy
  • Etc.

And whatever else is deemed attractive by you. We might pass up all sorts of people because they aren’t measuring up to our list … they aren’t super hot. And, obviously, we deserve a super hot person. Can’t settle for anything less than amazing, right?

First of all, we need to come back down to earth. No person is perfect. (That includes you.) We don’t deserve anything, in case you’re the man or woman who is praying for an outwardly flawless, model of a spouse. We don’t even deserve marriage in the first place, much less the perfection we think we need. But God does give to His children blessings undeserved. Furthermore, He is the giver of every good gift and every perfect gift, yet He looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.

So you may need to scrap the old list.

We were made to notice and appreciate beauty, yes. But let me tell you, arrogance is not beauty. Selfishness is not attractive. A bad temper is not beauty. Laziness is not attractive. Lack of self control is not beauty. Neediness is not attractive…

When you choose a spouse based on their outward attractiveness and know nothing of their true self, you are gambling dangerously. It could be that you didn’t choose beauty after all, but a clever facade.

That person’s outward beauty will fade in your eyes even before it diminishes in reality, and you will be left with the unattractive spouse you always feared … the idea you scoffed at. A bitter, passionless marriage.

But I’ve heard it said that a woman deeply longs to be ravishingly beautiful to her man and a man likewise desires to let his woman know how he delights in her beauty … so should we really swing the opposite direction and say physical attraction isn’t important?

Just become more pious and marry that unattractive person who we don’t even really¬†enjoy hanging around?

Are attraction and romance ungodly notions?

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.

7 Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.

That may sound crazy to you, but sometimes I think the Church struggles with this. We act all super holy, like: love is an action! Butterflies in your stomach is just foolishness. Worldly! Silly infatuation.

But is it?

God created us to be attracted to the opposite sex. To appreciate beauty. Look how magnificently He designed the world – the trees, mountains, flowers, birds, and oceans! Look how we naturally gravitate toward the other gender with hopeful ideas of intimacy and deep companionship. God created us for love, passion, and romance. Read Song of Solomon, for one! And take note of how He instructs the husband to delight in the wife of his youth.

Proverbs 5:18-19

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.

Digging even deeper, consider how marriage is to represent Christ and the Church. Isn’t the whole idea of passion, love, romance, and intimacy to point us to the depth of God’s feelings toward us? The truth that He will fill us more fully than even a fairy tale romance could? As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so God rejoices over us?

Psalm 16:11

11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Ephesians 5:28-33

28¬†So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29¬†For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30¬†For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.‚ÄĚ 32¬†This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33¬†Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Revelation 19:6-8

6¬†And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‚ÄúAlleluia! For the¬†Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7¬†Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.‚ÄĚ 8¬†And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

A man should, Biblically, delight in his bride so as to accurately point to God and His love for us.

Song of Solomon 4:9-10

9 You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
10 How fair is your love,
My sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,

1 Corinthians 2:9

9 But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.‚ÄĚ

Psalm 18:19

19 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

Without attraction, passion, love, and romance, marriage would be dull and lifeless. That doesn’t accurately represent Christ and the Church. Our relationship with Jesus shouldn’t be dull and lifeless. Christ loves us! He gave it all, even His own life, to rescue us. He is the true Prince of the fairy tales. He tenderly pursues¬†and passionately loves (Hosea 2:14-16 & Matthew 18:12-14). And we are to adore and be devoted to Him. The Christian should be in a deep love relationship with the Savior and Creator God.

Matthew 22:37

37¬†Jesus said to him, ‚Äú‚ÄėYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.‚Äô

So I don’t think a cold, pious marriage was what God had in mind when He said this earthly union reflects Christ and the Church. When a husband and wife delight in and are devoted to each other, I believe it so beautifully points to Christ.

Song of Solomon 6:3

3 I am my beloved’s,
And my beloved is mine.

Isaiah 62:4-5

4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

And for a man to rejoice and delight over his bride, there has to be a level of physical attraction and in-love-ness, right?

Song of Solomon 7:6 & 10

6 How fair and how pleasant you are,
O love, with your delights!

10 I am my beloved’s,
And his desire is toward me.

So all this to say, physical attraction does have its importance to the Christian single. But is attraction based entirely on looks? I think not.

And God may have to do some work in your heart before you’re at this point … But physical attraction doesn’t wholly depend on that toned physique and symmetrically pleasing face.

As you grow in Christ, you will find that you are drawn to other people who follow Him.

  • A love for the things of the Lord
  • An adoration of Jesus Christ
  • Similar interests, passions, and vision
  • A certain personality

All these greatly enhance physical attraction … even grow it where there was none.

So yes, if you are considering dating someone, I believe you should be drawn to them. If you’ve experienced this, you know what I’m talking about. They rise above every other in your mind and your gaze is pulled to them whenever they’re around. You’re excited to be around them and you genuinely enjoy spending lots of time with them. All this without introducing much of physical touch and the like. This is a true test of whether you’re drawn to the person, or to what they are giving you sexually.

Song of Solomon 2:2

2 Like a lily among thorns,
So is my love among the daughters.

3 Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods,
So is my beloved among the sons.

This pull doesn’t come simply from a handsome outward appearance, but it is an attraction to the heart and soul of a person. Or, at least, it should be. Because your spouse will fade and shrivel with age, but if ¬†you love them for their heart … for them themself … you will be attracted to them still.

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Genesis 2:18 & 22-24

18¬†And the Lord God said, ‚ÄúIt is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.‚ÄĚ

22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.‚ÄĚ

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

If you are only attracted to the model-material type, it might be that you need a spiritual reset. It may be that you care solely about the external and the here and now, and nothing about the soul and the eternal. You have let the world define and teach you what beauty and love are. And they have lied to you.

Not many of us are model-material … And what even is model-material but a certain culture and era’s temporary definition of beauty?

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and in the connection of souls.

I, personally, happen to think that beauty oftentimes looks much, much different than fashion models.

So, no, don’t date that dull, unattractive person. They might be super cool and attractive to someone else, ¬†but your personality and heart call for something different. That’s okay. Not to say that you should dismiss someone immediately because of an unexciting first impression … be friends with all types! Firstly, because we are to deeply love our brothers and sisters in Christ. And secondly, because a genuine attraction might develop if you give them a chance.

It seems that falling in love is a sweet, mysterious thing. A mingling of two souls. The deepest earthly bond. It should lift our eyes upward. Make us in awe of its Creator. Make us marvel at how rich and complete God’s love must be that it will so fill us in heaven that we won’t even need this beauty that is earthly marriage!

In closing, if you are an unmarried person, I would encourage you to marry someone you truly are in love with and delight in, heart and soul.

Think a shared passion for Christ. A deep, true friendship. Similar vision and goals in life. A real enjoyment of each other’s personalities. Unconditional devotion. Blended passions and hobbies. And yes, even butterflies. ūüėČ

Song of Solomon 5:16

Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!

I think then your marriage will be a great blessing, joy, and help to you and your spouse. And will give you a taste, and the world a glimpse, of the depthless, unending love, passion, beauty, devotion, and joy we can experience with God now, and for sure in heaven when we are ¬†united to Christ once and for all as His Bride. ‚̧

Zephaniah 3:17

17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.‚ÄĚ

Ephesians 3:17-19

17¬†that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18¬†may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height‚ÄĒ 19¬†to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Book Review: A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff

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A Love Letter Life: Pursue Creatively. Date Intentionally. Love Faithfully. by Jeremy & Audrey Roloff

My Personal Review ~ 4.5 stars

A Love Letter Life: Pursue Creatively. Date Intentionally. Love Faithfully.¬†was a really great read! I’d seen it around on social media – from Jinger Vuolo, “Marriage After God”, and Dale & Veronica Partridge, I think – and became intrigued. Although I’ve never watched the TV reality show that Jeremy Roloff is a part of (Little People, Big World), I thoroughly enjoyed his and Audrey’s book! It was an easy read; interesting, fun, and thoughtful.

So basically it tells the story of Jeremy and Audrey. Little bits of their individual lives, and a lot of how they became friends, fell in love, and eventually joined lives in marriage! I thought it was awesome how they emphasized the importance of friendship first, and also being intentional and faithful about getting to know, understanding, and caring for one another. There were some hot topics discussed! Such as physical purity and close friendships with the opposite sex after you’re married. I appreciated how honest Jeremy and Audrey were about their relationship, purity, and where they failed … and the fact that they wrote it as a warning:¬†Make boundaries! Have accountability partners. Don’t make the same mistakes that we did.

I loved the few pages of pictures near the center of the book. It’s so fun to see snippets of what you’re reading about! Absolutely lovely.

And the love letters they wrote each other? Absolutely precious! I love this idea Рespecially for dating couples! ^_^

This romance definitely wasn’t perfect. It had it’s ups and downs. It’s bumps and break-ups. But no love story is perfect. What makes the difference is how you pursue. How intentional you are. How faithful you are. Are you willing to fight for this person, despite the setbacks? And, once married, are you willing to cling to each other until death parts you … regardless if you “fall out of love” someday? Most importantly, are you actively putting Christ at the center? It’s wonderful to see a fun couple like Jeremy and Audrey pursuing God’s design for a man and his wife. Fighting for each other. Promoting a healthy marriage relationship that doesn’t give up.

This book talks about how to creatively love your special person, work through baggage from the past and/or generational sin, understand each other’s personality, respect each other, be intentional in a long distance relationship, and so on.

Jeremy and Audrey have a sweet story of coming together, and, overall, I very much enjoyed reading this book! I recommend to those who like learning about the real-life romances of Christian couples!

I received a copy of A Love Letter Life from Book Look Boggers Program. This review is honest and all my own.

 

**Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life on May 25th, 2019**

Books I’m Excited to Read: Womanhood, Marriage, & Gender Roles

Good morning, friends! Since we’ve been talking a lot about womanhood, gender roles, marriage, and the like, I thought I’d share my list of to-read Christian Living books on these topics!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and your favorite Christian nonfiction books!

~ Womanhood (& Manhood) ~

Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Carolyn McCulley

radical womanhood

True Woman 101: Divine Design: An Eight-Week Study on Biblical Womanhood by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh Demoss

true woman 101

The Fruit of Her Hands: Respect and the Christian Woman by Nancy Wilson

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Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood by Julie Roys

redeeming the feminine soul

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

let me be a woman

Girls With Swords: How to Carry Your Cross Like a Hero by Lisa Bevere

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Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer

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Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women by Nancy Wilson

building her house

Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality by Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal

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Divine Design: God’s Complementary Roles for Men and Women by John MacArthur

divine design

~ Singleness/Preparing for Marriage ~

Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating by Marshall Segal

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Wholeness in Singleness: Wisdom for Wives in Waiting by Brittney Jones

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Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married?: …and other useful comments by Nancy Wilson

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The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, But Why by Gary Thomas

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Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman

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Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples by John Piper

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The Before-You-Marry Book of Questions by Bill & Pam Farrel

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~ Marriage ~

For a Glory and a Covering: A Practical Theology of Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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Your Marriage, God’s Mission: Discovering Your Spiritual Purpose Together by Clint and Penny A. Bragg

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The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, & Redemption by Matt Chandler (with Jared C. Wilson)

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True Companion: Thoughts on Being a Pastor’s Wife by Nancy Wilson

true companion by nancy wilson

Happily Ever After: Finding Grace in the Messes of Marriage: 30 Devotions for Couples by John Piper, Francis Chan, & more

happily ever after

~Motherhood (& Fatherhood) ~

Missionary Mom: Embracing the Mission Field Right Under Your Roof by Shontell Brewer

missionary mom

Praise Her in the Gates: The Calling of Christian Motherhood by Nancy Wilson

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Father Hunger: Why God Call Men to Love and Lead Their Families by Douglas Wilson

father hunger

 

Resources For Studying Biblical Womanhood & Manhood

Hello, dear readers! In light of Tuesday’s post, I wanted to share some resources for studying and learning more about Biblical womanhood (and manhood).

If you haven’t gathered from reading this blog, I love this topic. The desire to live out womanhood Biblically is something that is woven very deeply into my heart … It’s one of the reasons I started Lady Grace in the first place! I’m always eager to listen to more sermons on God’s design and Biblical gender roles. And forever looking for more solid books exploring this subject.

So without further ado, here are some sermons, Youtube videos, and books that have helped shape my view as I study God’s Word on gender, Biblical roles, and marriage.

~ Sermons ~

David Platt – Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Part 1

David Platt – Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Part 2

David Platt – What About Women, Paul?

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 4): Man’s Hurdles

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 5): Man’s Redemption

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 7): Woman’s Purpose

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 8): Woman’s Hurdles

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 9): Woman’s Redemption

Matt Chandler – A Beautiful Design (Part 10): Together For the Gospel

New Work Fellowship – Mutual Love & Respect: Marriage For Dummies

New Work Fellowship – Love: Marriage For Dummies

New Work Fellowship – Respect: Marriage For Dummies

***

~ Youtube Videos ~

John Piper – A Beautiful Woman is a Person, Not a Body

John Piper – When a Man Loves a Woman Well

Ask Pastor John – Confronting Emotional and Verbal Abuse in the Home

J.D. Greear – Spiritual Headship

J.D. Greear – The Problem of Divorce

J.D. Greear – Four Ways Husbands Should Lead Like Christ

Emily Wilson – Accepting Chivalry

Liz Wheeler – This is How Real Men Act

Liz Wheeler – Women are Becoming the Men They Want to Marry

Liz Wheeler – Hey Feminists, Don’t Tell Me How to Be a Woman

PursueGodVideos – What It Means to Submit to Your Husband

Girl Defined – The Number One Thing Single Girls Should Look for in a Future Husband (but rarely do)

Girl Defined – 3 Ways Christian Girls Can Promote Godly Manhood

Ultimate Marriage – The Biblical Roles of a Husband and Wife

Ultimate Marriage – The Basics of Biblical Marriage

***

~ Books ~

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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The Mark of a Man: Following Christ’s Example of Masculinity by Elisabeth Elliot

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Woman by Divine Design by Dr. Jeffrey L. Seif

woman by divine design

Submissive Women?

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What do you think of when you hear the word ‘submit’?

In the 21st century, are headship and submission antiquated ideas? Is there no longer a need for gender roles? Has our progressiveness led as to a place where manhood and womanhood are merging, and living out old-fashioned masculinity and femininity is unneeded?

Some would answer with an emphatic “yes”.

And not just those in the culture, but this is trending in the general church as well.

Wives don’t need to submit. We’re not living in medieval times.

Husband and wife lead together.

Holding the door open for women is outdated chivalry. Girls need to be taught that everyone holds open doors for everyone. We must not treat women any differently than men.

Pastors needn’t preach on verses concerning submission and headship, because those subjects are irrelevant in our day.

Whichever way you lean, I want to pose a question that I believe is crucial:

At what point does God’s Word become irrelevant?

Seriously. We must ponder this, and what we believe to be true about the Bible if we are to have any type of foundation.

As Christians, we believe that the entire Bible is God’s Truth. And if you don’t believe this, I would ask yourself if you sincerely are a Christ-follower. (Read my post: His Word is Truth.)

Now, as we read the Bible, we have to be careful not to cherry-pick verses. And we have to take into account God’s unchangeable character, plus the history, culture, and social situations of the time these books were written. The Word of God must be intently studied … and tough sections read in the right context.

I want to present to you the idea that the Bible supports headship and submission throughout its entirety.

Women submitting was not just something God allowed because of mankind’s hardened hearts (such as was the case with polygamy and divorce.)

Matthew 19:8-9

8¬†He said to them,¬†‚ÄúMoses, because of the¬†hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your¬†wives, but from the beginning it was not so.¬†9¬†And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for¬†sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.‚ÄĚ

Rather, it was His perfect design from the beginning. And thus, it is by no means outdated or irrelevant, and we are living outside of God’s will when we treat ‘submission’ and ‘headship’ as bad words.

Now, before you click out of this post, let’s go back to our God’s character.

Does God support demeaning or oppressing women? Does God view women as less valuable than men? Did God create women to be not as intelligent and not worth as much as men?

I am reading through the entire Bible for the second time, and I can wholeheartedly say that when studying God’s Word, I have found nothing that gives me the idea that God wants to demean, oppress, or hurt women.

Rather, the opposite.

God cherishes His daughters, and highly values womanhood.

Therefore, we must conclude that submission is not bad or oppressive because God ordained it and God is for women.

It is a good, beautiful, freeing, complementary, perfect design.

Proverbs 31:25-29

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.‚ÄĚ

Satan, of course, wants to steal our abundant life and our freedom. He works viciously through the culture, which has completely distorted submission, marriage, and gender roles. Manhood and womanhood.

You can see everywhere the disaster, chaos, and destruction that moving out of God’s perfect design has caused.

  • Passive Men.
  • Oppression & Objectification of Women.
  • Bitter Women.
  • Scorn of Men.
  • The Demeaning of Motherhood.
  • The Disappearing of Fatherhood.
  • Divorce.
  • Fornication.
  • Adultery.
  • Pornography Addiction.
  • The Crumbling of the Family.
  • Mass Murder of Babies.
  • Gender Confusion.
  • Homosexuality.
  • Abuse.

Fear, confusion, division, hurt, bitterness, cruelty, impurity, and brokenness. And every form of sexual depravity and distortion.

I believe that throwing aside God’s design for manhood and womanhood is one of the worst things we could have done as the Church.

So, how do we get back to a Biblical understanding of submission? Of God’s unique design for gender?

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25¬†Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and¬†gave Himself for her,¬†26¬†that He might¬†sanctify and cleanse her¬†with the washing of water¬†by the word,¬†27¬†that He might present her to Himself a glorious church,¬†not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.¬†28¬†So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.¬†29¬†For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord¬†does¬†the church.¬†30¬†For¬†we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.¬†31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the¬†two shall become one flesh.‚Ä̬†32¬†This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.¬†33¬†Nevertheless¬†let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife¬†see¬†that she¬†respects¬†her¬†husband.

Titus 2:1-5

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:¬†2¬†that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;¬†3¬†the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things‚ÄĒ¬†4¬†that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,¬†5¬†to be¬†discreet, chaste,¬†homemakers, good,¬†obedient to their own husbands,¬†that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Women, press into Jesus Christ, the Lover of your soul!

Why would you believe something the world offers is better than what your Creator ordained from the beginning? The One who formed you in your mother’s womb. The One who created your complex brain, your feminine body, and fashioned passions, desires, gifts, and purpose within you?

The design of headship and submission is not to oppress you.

Men were not created to be harsh dictators, but servant leaders under God. Biblical headship involves incredible responsibility and sacrifice, not selfishness and bullying. For a husband to love as Christ loves the Church is to love sacrificially – to give of himself daily, to give up his desires¬†to serve you, to lead with boldness and courage for God’s glory and your good.

1 Peter 3:7

7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Colossians 3:18-21

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

The fact is, the role of husband is not one a man should go into with arrogant boasting, but with a humble heart, seriousness, wise counsel, and prayer. This is not where he becomes boss, but rather where he becomes answerable to God for how he lives out headship – because the husband is the head whether he wants to be or not.

Ephesians 5:23

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

1 Corinthians 11:3

3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Dear wives, God set up headship and submission in the beginning when He created man first, gave him authority and a task, and then created woman to be his helper.

And, from what I understand from various different pastors, the same word used for ‘helper’ there is also used to describe the Holy Spirit being our helper in other verses.

Is that demeaning to the Holy Spirit? By no means! The Holy Spirit is God! Yet He is our helper.

Being a helper does not make you a doormat or a nameless servant (though all of us, both men and women, are called to serve). Rather, it is a noble and esteemed calling. To support your husband in the kingdom work that God has given him. He needs you. You are to function as a team – him leading and you supporting.

This does not make one gender better than the other, though their roles are quite different.

Genesis 2:7 & 15-25

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

15¬†Then the¬†Lord¬†God took¬†the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.¬†16¬†And the¬†Lord¬†God commanded the man, saying, ‚ÄúOf every tree of the garden you may freely eat;¬†17¬†but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil¬†you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it¬†you shall surely¬†die.‚ÄĚ

18¬†And the¬†Lord¬†God said, ‚ÄúIt is¬†not good that man should be alone;¬†I will make him a helper comparable to him.‚Ä̬†19¬†Out of the ground the¬†Lord¬†God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and¬†brought¬†them¬†to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that¬†was¬†its name.¬†20¬†So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was¬†taken out of Man.‚ÄĚ

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

This is not about competition. God did not create man and woman to compete with each other, but to complement each other … to create a beautiful picture.

This picture unfolds as the husband takes his place as the leader, fearlessly leading his wife forth into their work in God’s kingdom. He cherishes his wife, and loves her. He is tender with her; gentle and kind. He honors her. And takes responsibility for his family and what direction they’re going in.

And the wife willingly submits to his leadership and supports him as the head of the household. She encourages him, respects him, honors him, and esteems his leadership. She ministers alongside him, humbly following under his headship.

Now, I know some of you are cringing right now. Follow? Humble? Why can’t we just be equal??

You are equal. Equal in value and worth. Equal in dignity. Equal in Christ.

Galatians 3:26-28

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

But there must be a leader and head, and God calls men to that weighty task.

Author, pastor, and speaker, David Platt, delved into this subject with such grace, gentleness, and authority in one of his sermon series. (David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – Part 1 & Part 2. Highly recommend!!). God is head of Christ, does that make God better than Christ? Christ less worthy than God? No! Jesus Christ was equally God, yet He submitted! Obeyed. Humbled Himself. Served.

Jesus submitted to God.

Will you, women, balk in what your Savior Himself walked out?

Jesus Christ was obedient. God is the head of Him, as husband is the head of wife. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

That we would refuse to do what our Lord did … calling it too demeaning and humble … that’s pretty arrogant of us.

There is nothing demeaning, demanding, oppressive, or ugly about Biblical submission. It is beautiful, and when we are tempted to think otherwise, we must immediately look to our Lord Himself and follow His example.

Philippians 2:5-8

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

John 6:38

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

1 Corinthians 15:28

28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

Submission and headship were God’s design from the beginning. They are every bit as relevant today as they were in Genesis. And Christ Himself led the way in submission.

Women, I know, I know, that a lot of men do not make being a wife easy. And this hurts me so much. Whether they are passive, domineering, harsh, or all three, it is hard. And my heart bleeds for you.

But, I promise you, ditching God’s design is not going to make it better.

Women trying to rule over men. Scoffing at feminine inclinations and roles. Trampling men and God-given masculinity. Forsaking motherhood. Flaunting themselves in a twisted appeal for validation … This all hurts my heart as well.

Even if your husband (or father … whoever is head of your house) is not living out headship Biblically, you can find powerful purpose in living out your womanhood and femininity according to God’s design.

1 Peter 3:1-6

Wives, likewise,¬†be¬†submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word,¬†they, without a word, may¬†be won by the conduct of their wives,¬†2¬†when they observe your chaste conduct¬†accompanied¬†by fear.¬†3¬†Do not let your adornment be¬†merely¬†outward‚ÄĒarranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on¬†fine¬†apparel‚ÄĒ¬†4¬†rather¬†let it be¬†the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible¬†beauty¬†of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.¬†5¬†For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,¬†6¬†as Sarah obeyed Abraham,¬†calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

Your design as a woman reflects the Almighty God’s character! Don’t toss aside this precious purpose for the lies the world is feeding you.

Being a helper. Submitting. Nurturing. Supporting. Encouraging. Esteeming. Living compassionately. Complementing. Giving life. This will reflect your Lord, and glorify and please Him. Let Him gently smile upon you and powerfully protect you, even if the men in your life are oppressive. They will answer to God, as will you. So you just need to live out your womanhood according to God’s design and leave the rest up to God.

Imagine if we could bring passionately Biblical manhood, womanhood, and marriage back into the church? The examples that I have seen of radically living out God’s design are RADIANT.

Don’t be deceived. These agendas of feminism, toxic masculinity, “equality”, and no more submission and gender roles are bringing us nowhere but down. Further into destruction.

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

I am vastly encouraged when I hear pastors and brothers preach to us on submission and headship. They are radical about God’s Truth, not male domination. These are the kind of men I rally behind – and am strengthened in my faith by. Bold, strong, masculine, compassionate, protective, gentle, truth-seeking, passionate men of God.

Let’s start looking to the wisest of all. And He, our good and perfect Father, calls men and women to embrace their distinct roles with purpose and joy, in submission to God, for the glory of God.

Book Review: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

My Personal Review ~ 4 stars ~

Reforming Marriage¬†was a very interesting and thought-provoking book. I must say, I’ve not read many books on this subject that are as straightforward, non-apologetic, and radical in its views. Some of the points that Douglas Wilson presents in this book (and some his other books) seem a little rigid and maybe even coming from an unconsciously legalistic heart? But I’ve learned that Douglas Wilson is a writer for John Piper’s ministry (https://www.desiringgod.org/authors/d…) which makes me more comfortable reading his work because I really respect John Piper and his theology (all that I’ve heard so far). And these books were written quite awhile ago – in the 1990s.

So, while I don’t strictly agree with everything in this book, it was rather relieving and refreshing to hear a firm Christian voice on the topics of MARRIAGE // HEADSHIP // SUBMISSION // RESPECTING A HUSBAND // CHERISHING A WIFE // MASCULINITY // LEADERSHIP // MEN & WOMEN’S ROLES // BEING A HOMEMAKER // CHILDREN // BIRTH CONTROL // DIVORCE // and so forth.

I mentioned above that Douglas Wilson almost appeared to have a legalistic view in certain areas. But I also noticed, in more areas than not probably, that he expounded on grace, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

“But what about those who, by the time they read this book, have already done everything wrong? They are now on their third marriage and are troubled by guilt. The good news is that God picks us up where we are, not where we should have been. There is always forgiveness in Christ. Those in such a situation should confess the sin, accept God’s forgiveness by faith, and begin to live in submission to the Word of God.”¬†[Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

Some things he said about the woman’s role and such made me squirm a little inside. But in the same breath, his overall presentation of marriage is much more attractive than the modern marriages I see all around me! Small errors in judgement or not, Douglas Wilson’s view of marriage seems to be much more Biblical than¬†most¬†of the views on marriage in the general church today. All in all,¬†Reforming Marriage¬†made the passion for God’s design burn brighter in me! Let’s start really digging into the Word and seeing¬†and living out¬†God’s original design for womanhood, manhood, marriage, sexuality, parenting, and life in general!

The home is such a central part of life. We can see in our world today that with the tearing down of the family comes the eventual destruction of everything good, peaceful, and pure. And, from God’s original design, man¬†was¬†created as the head of the household. So he is responsible for the home, and for the beauty or for the darkness that comes from it.
Reforming Marriage¬†really hit hard on the man’s responsibility as head of the home and spiritual leader. And it was very intriguing and eye-opening. The husband has a massive responsibility, and so I wouldn’t take marriage lightly! Whether he likes it or not, he¬†is¬†the head. And whether women want to admit it or not, we¬†want¬†our men to lead! Women don’t generally respect a man who doesn’t lead, protect, and provide … because that is what he was designed for! And she was designed to respond and to support.

“A woman should marry a man she respects, and a man should marry a woman he is willing to love and lead with a servant’s heart.”¬†[Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

I really love the idea of God giving man a task, and then bringing a woman to him to help him complete that task (Genesis 2). I pray that I can be a supporting, encouraging, joyfully Biblical wife someday! What a unique and beautiful design! The idea of a godly man who joyfully and firmly leads, protects, and provides for his wife … who regularly studies Scripture and pursues God individually and with his wife … who answers her theology questions and points her to Christ … who cherishes her and takes his job of raising their children seriously … That is incredible! We need men to rise up and be masculine, hard-working, gentle, godly, assertive, kind, strong, Christ-like men.

“The husband must make a conscious decision to utilize his strength for her protection and benefit, and not for his own. He can only do that in imitation of Christ. In the Christian family, the way to an understanding of true authority is through service.”¬†[Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson]

To wrap it up, on a whole, I really enjoyed reading Reforming Marriage. Some parts were definitely better than others, and I have my questions and doubts concerning some of the views. But still, I gleaned a lot of helpful information and incredible insight, and like the idea of reading this book with my husband should I marry someday.

I recommend you read with an open mind, and always lining up what’s said against what the Bible says! As with all Christian Living books, don’t take everything as gospel-truth. The Bible alone is the Holy Word of God. But we can definitely gain some wisdom from books from fellow believers.

Was I Created For Marriage??

I was thinking the other day … (ha! Like I’m ever not overwhelmed by thoughts) … considering that one of my recent posts, Am I Rightly Living Out My Womanhood, focuses a lot on marriage and being a wife, yet in another post I wrote, I Was Created For … (take a moment to read this post if you haven’t!) I said: I was not created for marriage.

So which is it? If we’re not created for marriage, why do we talk so much about it when we delve into the topic of womanhood?

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Well, let me explain my thoughts a little deeper.

See, if we look at my emotional, mental, and physical makeup, it would seem that I am created for marriage. On a physical and emotional level, we long for marriage and all that it entails. God did create us as sexual beings. As we grow into adulthood, we have longings. We desire closeness, intimacy. We want to be near to another human being – known body and soul – and loved despite any flaws or weaknesses we might have.

It would make sense to say that I was created for marriage because I have very natural and basic longings for marriage and intimacy. I long for a close friend and a forever partner – a man who compliments my womanhood, and with whom I can live life side by side. I long to be a mother, to carry babies, to give life, and nurture. My body is designed for procreation. I long for the purpose of a homemaker; it feels like this is what I would do best and thrive in.

Titus 2:4-5

4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

It makes sense … because the first woman, Eve, was created for Adam.

Yet.

First Eve belonged to God. God knew Eve better than Adam did. God knew her before Adam did. God loved her vastly more. God saved her, whereas Adam couldn’t be her savior because he was only human, just as she was. And in eternity, Christ will be Eve’s Bridegroom, not Adam.

So, for a season and for a purpose on this earth, Eve was designed – physically and emotionally – for Adam.

Genesis 2:18 & 21-24

18¬†And the¬†Lord¬†God said, ‚ÄúIt is¬†not good that man should be alone;¬†I will make him a helper comparable to him.‚ÄĚ

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was¬†taken out of¬†Man.‚ÄĚ

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

 

But her eternal husband is the Lord.

(May this encourage Christian women who are in unloving or difficult marriages! The Lord is your husband, and He will care for you as an earthly husband never could.)

As a female, I am designed beautifully in all ways to be a wife. And I desire to be a wife – probably because that was the specific and perfect design from the beginning for woman!

But if I never get to live out my design as a wife and mother, I will be okay.

Because, you see, there is a deeper truth than me being designed for marriage.

And that is that I was created for God.

Ultimately, it comes down to this truth, because I will go to God in the end and I will spend my eternity with Him. And with the rest of Christ’s family. But the Lord will be my Bridegroom. Our Bridegroom.

Revelation 19:7-8

7¬†Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for¬†the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.‚Ä̬†8¬†And¬†to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright,¬†for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

God created earthly marriage as a picture of the ultimate marriage with Him. Marriage is the design – and a very GOOD design – but it is not what we were created for, in the end.

I would dearly love to live out my design and my heart’s longing and be a wife and mother. I would count it a great honor to grow into a godly wife, and reflect Christ and the Church together with a godly husband. What an honor! What a calling! What a light and example Christian marriages have the potential to be!

Ephesians 5:23, 25-27, & 31-33

23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the¬†two shall become one flesh.‚Ä̬†32¬†This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.¬†33¬†Nevertheless¬†let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife¬†see¬†that she¬†respects¬†her¬†husband.

But right now, I am very much an unmarried woman. And I can’t get caught up in the rhetoric of: I was created for marriage; why can’t I be a wife already??

I have to remind myself that my earthly life is temporary. Marriage would be a blessing and an esteemed calling for me here on earth, but my relationship with Jesus Christ is now and forever. That is what I was created for and that is what I must press into always.

Jesus.

My Jesus. How beautiful He is! Savior. Redeemer. Father. Friend. Lord and Master. Guide. Protector. Provider. God. Lover of my soul.

I do not reject my desire for marriage. I do not pretend that I am not a sexual being.

I am passionate about God’s design for marriage and look forward to living it out if He so leads me on that path. I study it. I pray about it. I pray for it.

But first and foremost, I must embrace the forever truth that I was created for God.

And in my weakness, He shows His strength and goodness. Through my weakness, He sanctifies me if I press into Him. I try not to be ashamed of my weakness, but revel in His power and wisdom in that moment.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

9¬†And He said to me,¬†‚ÄúMy grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.‚Ä̬†Therefore most gladly¬†I will rather boast in my infirmities,¬†that the power of Christ may rest upon me.¬†10¬†Therefore¬†I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ‚Äôs sake.¬†For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My weak flesh cries out: I just want what I was designed for in this temporary life. I want a husband and children. I will settle. I will settle for the temporary, the less-than-holy, the purposelessness, and the here-and-now. Because I just want marriage.

But as Christ works in me, I say with even louder tones: No. Marriage is beautiful, but it has deeper purpose than simply giving me freedom to live out my design. I only want marriage if it will honor You. Meaning, I only want to marry a man who fears You, with whom I can radiantly glorify You, Lord! I don’t want the beauty of marriage to distract me from You. So I will wait for a godly man who is wholeheartedly Yours, that we may seek and serve You together.

2 Corinthians 11:2

2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

May we all fall ever more in love with the Lover of our souls.

Marriage is an amazing design for our earthly lives. It is of God! He designed male and female and marriage in the beginning, and it was good. It is good.

So desire it! So study it! So pray for it!

It is not a bad thing to desire marriage – this I have been told (indirectly, at times) by so many godly brothers and sisters in Christ. Marriage is a good desire.

And, if I ponder it …

I was designed for marriage.

But again, I was created for God. I am Christ’s – I am for Him and my life for His glory.

So desire marriage.

But desire God more.

Always more.

Deuteronomy 4:29

29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Am I Rightly Living Out My Womanhood?

Womanhood.

Do you ever ponder what the Word of God has to say about womanhood? In this modern world of ours, is there no longer a need for gender roles, chivalry, leaders, submission, femininity, homemakers, and stay-at-home mothers?

What is the uniqueness of woman? Does she have any? Or is she destined for a life of struggle? Always comparing and competing with man for worth, identity, dignity, and purpose?

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(Most women get married at some point – and are desiring marriage while they’re single – so I’m going to be talking a fair amount to wives/about godly wives; marriage; children; etc.)

I think when we consider that we have an all-knowing Creator who lovingly knit us together in our mother’s womb, we can feel confident in going back to His Word to define womanhood.

Psalm 139:1-10 & 13-16

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.

3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Think about it … He knows you inside and out. He knew you before anyone else did. He crafted you inside your mother’s body. Your conception was not an accident. He wrote out your DNA. He purposefully gave you the personality, talents, and interests you have. The skin tone, eye color, and hair you have. He created you knowing you’d be the height you are and have the body shape you do. He intentionally made you the gender that you are.

He knows you. He has a plan for you. He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you. And as your Creator – the Creator – He definitely knows what’s best for you.

Women, I know that some of what’s in the Bible talking about womanhood and gender roles is hard to swallow. But take a moment and search your heart. Do you believe God created you? Do you believe Jesus Christ died to cleanse you from your sin and give eternity with Him? Do you believe He loved you enough to give His life?

Psalm 139:23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Can you not believe that His ways are best, even if they’re hard?

Perhaps, if we went to the Bible before the culture for knowledge and advice – and we lived out what it says – our lives would be vastly easier. Perhaps we would find more purpose in our womanhood. Perhaps we’d have better relationships with the men in our life (particularly, one’s husband).

Perhaps we’d find FREEDOM instead of the chains we expected.

So what does Biblical womanhood look like? Let’s take a look at some verses from the Bible on women.

Genesis 1:26-28

26¬†Then God said,¬†‚ÄúLet Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;¬†let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over¬†all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.‚Ä̬†27¬†So God created man¬†in His¬†own¬†image; in the image of God He created him;¬†male and female He created them.¬†28¬†Then God blessed them, and God said to them,¬†‚ÄúBe fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and¬†subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that¬†moves on the earth.‚ÄĚ

Genesis 2:15-25

15¬†Then the¬†Lord¬†God took¬†the man and put him in the garden of Eden to¬†tend and keep it.¬†16¬†And the¬†Lord¬†God commanded the man, saying, ‚ÄúOf every tree of the garden you may freely eat;¬†17¬†but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil¬†you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it¬†you¬†shall surely¬†die.‚ÄĚ

18¬†And the¬†Lord¬†God said, ‚ÄúIt is¬†not good that man should be alone;¬†I will make him a helper comparable to him.‚Ä̬†19¬†Out of the ground the¬†Lord¬†God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and¬†brought¬†them¬†to¬†Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that¬†was¬†its name.¬†20¬†So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was¬†taken out of¬†Man.‚ÄĚ

 

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

First, we know we are made in God’s image, as the first woman, Eve, was. We read that in the beginning, woman came from man. God created Adam first. And then, knowing it wasn’t good for man to be alone, He fashioned the first woman from Adam’s rib.

This is such a beautiful piece of Scripture, is it not? My heart flutters when I read it. God created a man and gave him work and a purpose. But He doesn’t want man to be alone. It wasn’t good for man to be without woman. God wants to create a partner and helper for Adam. So He causes Adam to fall asleep. And instead of creating another human from the dust, He takes directly from Adam to create Eve.

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And Adam says: she is of me! Therefore, when a boy grows into a man and finds the woman for him, they shall be joined together and become one flesh.

Maybe that’s where the deep desire for marriage comes from. Because woman was created for man. To be together. This is just romantic speculation on my part, but maybe this is why a woman feels so safe and at home held close to the chest of a man. Because Eve was literally fashioned from Adam’s rib.

(I know that not every woman desires marriage. Some people are called to singleness. But I’m speaking from personal experience and feelings, and from what I’ve heard a lot of other women say.)

So, first off, don’t be believing that singleness is the most holy state. When I’m saying this, I’m believing that you have the solid foundation of a Christian, knowing that you’re made first for Him and His glory. His will is that you be in intimate relationship with Him (whether you’re single or married), and your purpose is to shine Christ’s love and make much of His Name.

But as you’re walking with Him and delighting in Jesus Christ, maybe He has a glorious plan to use you in the role of wife and mother on this earth. See this as a good, holy, valuable, and beautiful occupation!

Take some time to carefully read over these Scripture passages:

Psalm 127:1-5

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

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Psalm 128:1-6

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.

2 When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.

3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.

4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.

5 The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.

6 Yes, may you see your children’s children.

Peace be upon Israel!

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Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.

15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.‚ÄĚ

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

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Proverbs 12:4

4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

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Proverbs 18:22

22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

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When I read verses like these, it seems that God puts great honor on the roles of wife and mother. They weren’t seen as unwanted occupations or less worthy callings. A godly wife was seen as priceless. Beyond valuable. Children as a blessing from the Lord. A sign of His favor. The wife’s role and her work in the home is shown in detail and importance.

In this modern world, how far we have strayed from this mindset. And perhaps we have lost something precious? Finding joy and purpose in wifehood and motherhood. In embracing being different and complimentary as a woman. In being feminine. In making a home. In raising up the next generation.

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Most of us women desire marriage, and so we should study the Bible on what God would have us do to grow into godly wives. If so many of us are to married at some point, we should find beautiful and Biblical purpose in it instead of just seeking marriage for the pleasure of love. Marriage is about more than happiness. There is purpose in it, and we should take it seriously.

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Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25¬†Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and¬†gave Himself for her,¬†26¬†that He might¬†sanctify and cleanse her¬†with the washing of water¬†by the word,¬†27¬†that He might present her to Himself a glorious church,¬†not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.¬†28¬†So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.¬†29¬†For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord¬†does¬†the church.¬†30¬†For¬†we are members of His body,¬†of His flesh and of His bones.¬†31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the¬†two shall become one flesh.‚Ä̬†32¬†This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.¬†33¬†Nevertheless¬†let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife¬†see¬†that she¬†respects¬†her¬†husband.

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Titus 2:3-5

3¬†the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things‚ÄĒ¬†4¬†that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,¬†5¬†to be¬†discreet, chaste,¬†homemakers, good,¬†obedient to their own husbands,¬†that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

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1 Peter 3:1-7

Wives, likewise,¬†be¬†submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word,¬†they, without a word, may¬†be won by the conduct of their wives,¬†2¬†when they observe your chaste conduct¬†accompanied¬†by fear.¬†3¬†Do not let your adornment be¬†merely¬†outward‚ÄĒarranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on¬†fine¬†apparel‚ÄĒ¬†4¬†rather¬†let it be¬†the hidden person of the heart, with the¬†incorruptible¬†beauty¬†of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.¬†5¬†For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,¬†6¬†as Sarah obeyed Abraham,¬†calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

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Colossians 3:18-19

18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

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1 Timothy 5:8

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

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Women, the Bible says man was created first, and woman from him. The Bible calls wives to submit to their husbands. The Bible calls husbands to lead and provide. The Bible calls women the “weaker vessel”. In Titus, women are called the love their husbands, their children, and be homemakers. The Bible names the man as the head of the woman, as marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church.

As Christ pursued us, gave up His life for us, and leads us, so a man pursues a woman and marries her – giving his life to her and sacrificing himself daily to love, lead, and provide for her. Spiritually and physically.

Wives are called to willingly submit to their husband. To willingly give him the leadership and responsibility in the relationship. In the family. Household.

And he is to love his wife sacrificially. To pursue her always. To dwell with her with tenderness and gentleness, as she is the weaker vessel.

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1 Timothy 2:9-13

9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

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1 Corinthians 11:3 & 11-12

3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.

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When reading some of these verses (especially¬†1 Timothy 2:11-13), we women may be tempted to think this is saying we are less than or don’t have the potential for wisdom like men. But I think we need to remember that male and female are both made in the image of God. Just because we have different roles doesn’t make one gender of more value than the other. I have heard some profound and thought-provoking messages on gender, and I believe that both man and woman – masculinity and femininity – represent different aspects of God. God does refer to Himself with male pronouns, but He made male and female in His image. And in different parts of His Word, He uses feminine allegories to describe Himself – such a mother hen gathering her young close (Luke 13:34). So we should never feel demeaned, unworthy, or less than in our womanhood. Our womanhood can be a special reflection of God’s character – if we live it out Biblically.

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Galatians 3:28

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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Proverbs 11:16

16 A gracious woman retains honor,
But ruthless men retain riches.

Proverbs 11:22

22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

Proverbs 14:1

The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Proverbs 22:14

14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.

Proverbs 27:15

15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day
And a contentious woman are alike;

Women, instead of nagging and competing, let’s try to compliment and build up. To love, encourage, serve, and spur our brothers (including husband) on to good deeds.

Proverbs 27:17

17 As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

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Acts 18:25-26

25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

It appears that husband and wife, Aquila and Priscilla, together took aside this man and taught him the Truth. I love this picture of godly marriage … that the couple is a team. They minister together. They spread God’s Word together. They work together. They teach, encourage, and admonish together. I’m sure Aquila was still the leader and head of the household, as God lays out in the Scripture, but it does not in any way undermine Priscilla’s value and wisdom, and the importance in her playing out her part in the marriage.

So, dear ladies, don’t undermine the beauty and purpose of a Biblical marriage. Of a woman’s place in the home. Of letting your husband lead – coming alongside him in ministry. Of helping fulfill the great commission by raising up children in the Lord. Of Biblical femininity that compliments Biblical masculinity and points to our beautiful and all-wise God.

Do you know what a light embracing these things can be to a lost world?

Do you know how being, wholeheartedly, a woman, a wife, a mother, a homemaker can encourage, bless, even change the lives of your brothers and sisters in Christ? Whether it be your husband, your children, your neighbors, or your church family?

This is not to say that women should never work outside the home or have a different ministry and calling than wife & mother. Forgive me if I try to put everyone in the same mold and try to make everything black and white. I know there are unique situations and people.

But if you are desiring marriage and motherhood, I would be serious about studying Biblical truths on these matters. Because I truly believe the family is crumbling in America (and probably the whole world) … And it is probably largely because people do not know what Biblical manhood and womanhood look like. What does it look like to be a Biblical wife? A Biblical husband? A Biblical mother? A Biblical father?

There is a reason that God made a design for these things. Will you study His design? And will you attempt to follow it? Because don’t you think the Creator’s design will work best?

When I read these verses from God’s Word on womanhood, I have no problem accepting them because it’s what I want, personally. I want to be home. I dream and pray to become a wife and homemaker someday. I want my home to be the heart of my ministry. I want to support and love one of God’s adopted sons (my future husband). I want to counsel women. Mentor girls. Raise children to know the love of God. I want to open up my home to people who need fellowship and heart talks. I want to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ with homemade meals and loving hospitality. I want to shine for Jesus Christ by the way I adorn my home with His love and truths. His peace and joy.

But, obviously, that’s not exactly how my life looks right now – even as I strive to be a godly woman. I don’t have my own home. I live with my parents and siblings. And while I’m welcome there, the house does not belong to me and I have eight other people to consider before trying to make plans for this home. My dad is a great provider and I have never lacked food, shelter, or clothing. But as an adult, I feel the need to go beyond just helping at home and seek a job outside and learn to provide for myself.

So, at this point, I have to work outside the home, at least to some extent. But I also am trying to cultivate homemaking skills, and I find lots of joy and satisfaction in cooking for my family, cleaning and organizing the house, nurturing children, and encouraging other women.

And I pray for a godly man who is able to provide for me and will count it his purpose and responsibility to lead me (and any children God blesses us with) spiritually and in all things. Because as I grow in the Lord, I feel in my heart a calling to the home. To be the helper (Do you know that God and the Holy Spirit are called our helper? This is no term to be taken lightly or demeaned.) to the man who God would choose for me. To counsel other women. To teach and encourage through this blog (and perhaps Youtube videos one day.) To open my home to those who need it. To be a mother.

Maybe you’re a woman who doesn’t feel called to be married. Or you’re in a season of singleness right now, in any case. Maybe you feel God has given you gifts and talents that call you out into the world and a career.

Acts 16:13-15

13¬†And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met¬†there.¬†14¬†Now a certain woman named Lydia heard¬†us.¬†She was a seller of purple from the city of¬†Thyatira, who worshiped God.¬†The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.¬†15¬†And when she and her household were baptized, she begged¬†us,¬†saying, ‚ÄúIf you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.‚ÄĚ So¬†she persuaded us.

Just remember that you still need your brothers and sisters in Christ. I would go so far as to say that it is important for you to have a spiritual leader in your father. And if he is not available for that role, I would pray for a spiritual leader in another trusted, godly older man such as your pastor. Older brother. Uncle. Etc.

Having an older, godly woman to mentor you is important too! I’m currently praying for such things in my own life!

As a single or married woman, we are not meant to be wholly independent. We are to be dependent on God, and also receive help from our brothers and sisters in Christ. And be intricately a part of the Body of Christ. Have a church family. Women usually naturally have nurturing skills, so don’t be afraid to help with other people’s small children. Find a younger girl to mentor. Married or single, you can be the Titus 2 woman who counsels younger women and trains them in godliness.

Romans 16:1-2

I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

1 Timothy 5:1-8

Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

(As for married mothers with careers, I don’t, in any way, mean to condemn you. As I said, I like to see things in black and white. But I am not all-knowing or all-wise. But if thoughts of the home bring feelings of distaste – or you haven’t thought about it much at all – I would simply like to remind you that the home is not a lesser calling, but a truly worthy and esteemed one, it would seem, in God’s sight. And your children are precious souls He has entrusted to you. God has put you and your husband in their lives to raise them to know His love – to love and serve Him – and this is of utmost importance. Careers are temporary; your children’s souls are eternal.)

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Proverbs 31:30

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Another Biblical truth on womanhood I want to remind you of is found in the above verse. Our beauty is not what defines us. We do not find our identity in our looks. Yes, God made women beautiful and attractive. But our feminine beauty is earthly and it will pass away.

Spending an overwhelming amount of money on cosmetics, clothing, and various other products to enhance your beauty and “fix” your “flaws” will not fulfill you and will not make you happy. It is an endless quest, my dear fellow women.

Beauty. Charm. A fit body. Beautiful clothes. Sensuality. Wittiness. A flawless face. Scores of suitors. Many friends. A career. A boyfriend/husband. Popularity. Countless “likes” on social media. Praise. Success.

Listen. It will not fulfill you.

Womanhood is about embracing God’s design and fearing Him. The woman who fears God, she shall be praised. That is worthy womanhood. That is an identity to get behind.

A woman going all out for God.

A woman living for her Lord’s glory.

A woman enamored with her Savior’s Word.

A woman living to shine her Redeemer’s love in everything.

A woman passionate about God’s design.

A woman secure in her Creator’s workmanship.

A woman confident in her role as a God-fearing female.

2 Corinthians 11:1-3

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little¬†folly‚ÄĒand indeed you do bear with me.¬†2¬†For I am¬†jealous for you with godly jealousy. For¬†I have betrothed you to one husband,¬†that I may present¬†you¬†as¬†a chaste virgin to Christ.¬†3¬†But I fear, lest somehow, as¬†the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds¬†may be corrupted from the¬†simplicity that is in Christ.