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 – especially 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**

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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

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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

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Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

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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

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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

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~ 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

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

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~Motherhood (& Fatherhood) ~

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

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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

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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

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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

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 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.”

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.”

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 Lord23 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 her26 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 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 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: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their childrento 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

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wifeas 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

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

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 it16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of 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.”

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 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.”

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

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of menAnd 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, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 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 GodFor in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 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

that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 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, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him 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.”

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

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.” 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 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church33 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

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s 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

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

Lord, You have searched me and known me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, “Let 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.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be 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.”

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, “Of 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.”

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 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.”

 

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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 body24 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 her26 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 church30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church33 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

the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their childrento 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, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 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 GodFor in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

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

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

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

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, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” 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, 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, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

Honor widows who are really widows. 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. Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. And these things command, that they may be blameless. 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.)

****

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—and indeed you do bear with me. 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 ChristBut 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.

Things I Appreciate About Singleness + Thoughts on the Desire of My Heart

Hello! I’m back with another post at last. Friends, it’s hard to keep up a blog schedule without having my own laptop, but I’ll attempt to do better! …Because I have so many things on my heart and thoughts running through my head that I just want to share with you all! *hugs*

So let’s talk a little bit about singleness … and marriage(!) … today.

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BENEFITS OF SINGLENESS:

  • Time to Grow Closer to God

Not that I’m planning to not put my relationship with the Lord first when I’m married, have children, etc., but I think singleness provides me with extra time to pursue wisdom and intimacy in my walk with Jesus Christ. For example, when all my friends are hanging out with their boyfriends/husbands on a Friday night, when they’re busy with their little babies, when I feel alone in a crowd because everyone else has their special someone … I can start a quiet conversation with God right then and there and talk about how I’m feeling. Or anything. It’s a beautiful thing to have someone who belongs to you and you to them in this life, but when you’re in a season of singleness and often find yourself alone it’s the perfect chance to realize God’s constant, powerful, tender Presence. And are not quality time and conversation how you grow closer to someone? He’s always there for me. I really think singleness has helped me become more acutely aware of that. I find myself talking to the Lord all throughout the day. I can always go to the Lover of my Soul – my Father in heaven. And that is a rich truth that perhaps many people never realize because they never allow themselves to be lonely on this earth.

  • Opportunity to Develop Close Friendships with Other Women

I have loved seeing how, as I surrender this single season to God, He brings lovely women into my life, and reminds me what a blessing the opportunity to get to know them while I’m still single is! I am a very relational person, and it has occurred to me that my loneliness probably won’t go away once I get married. No, I’m still going to need other people in my life – particularly close female friends who I can trust. If I never make an effort to develop friendships with other women while I’m single, I may find myself lonely for an even longer time in marriage. I imagine as a newlywed you’re busy learning how to be a wife and wanting to spend every spare moment with your husband … and maybe it’s even harder to make the effort to find friends. Even when you really need them! So I think these friendships I’m growing in now as I’m single will be invaluable to me someday when I’m married, learning to be a wife, and realizing for real that my husband can’t be my everything and fulfill every relational and emotional need. And, I mean, he’ll probably have to be gone several hours a day, working. *laughs* 😉 Anyway, yes. I meet other women – making new friends and reconnecting with old ones – and I can’t help but wonder if I would have made an effort to get to know these beautiful individuals better if I was dating right now. Maybe I’d be too busy hanging out with him, getting to know him, talking on the phone with him, thinking about him, etc., etc. Those are all good things in God’s good timing. *winks* But right now God has put dear women in my life that hopefully I can pour into and grow close to.

  • Opportunity to Encourage Other People in a Season of Singleness

Tying right into the last point, I was struck by how particularly wonderful it is to be friends with other single women. I love my married girlfriends and girlfriends who are in relationships dearly, but being friends with other singles gives us a chance to connect with and encourage each other in a unique way. I remember meeting with a new friend the beginning of this year and just feeling a thankfulness that I wasn’t dating right then! She was struggling and I was struggling and we had the chance to speak right to each other’s hearts … to share deeply and know that the other understood. Now, married girls can understand as well! After all, they were single once, too. But it’s different to be experiencing a season together with a sister in Christ. Maybe God still has me in this season of singleness because He wants me to be there for some of His other single daughters. Yes, Lord! Use me to touch Your precious daughters’ lives. And I know I am so blessed in the process as they touch mine.

  • More Quality Time with Siblings and Parents

If I had gotten married even a couple of years ago, I would not be near as close to my siblings as I am now. Is it hard, sometimes, as a twenty-one-year-old woman to live with my parents and six younger siblings still? Yes. I won’t lie. But at the same time, I cherish their close presence in my life and the unwavering, loyal relationships we have forged – especially in recent years. We may have a hard time understanding each other at times, but I truly count them as friends and they are some of my biggest supporters. They have my back, and I have theirs. I’m sure I can’t describe how deep my love is for each of them, and I wouldn’t wish away the time I’ve had with them. My older brother moved away a couple years ago and there is an empty place in the household. I miss him and him being here at home! Yes, life moves on and people start lives of their own, but it reminds you to cherish the time you do have living together!

  • Choice to Live Where I Want

You know, if I get married, it’s possible that my husband will move me away from my family at some point. It would be okay, though hard; but right now I’m happy that I have the choice to settle near the people who I’ve been with my entire life.

  • Freedom to Do What I Want with My Extra Time

I can devote all my free time to writing, reading, blogging, and pursuing other passions, ideas, and hobbies. I can decide to go on vacation here or there to visit friends without worrying about my husband’s input. I can spend however much money I feel is appropriate on books … hehe. 😉 *laughs* I live with my parents and siblings, but for the most part I can do what I want with my free time without having to get someone’s opinion or confer with someone else’s schedule. I can go shopping. Randomly go relax and write at a coffee shop for a few hours. Go to Chick-fil-A and book shopping. Watch a girly movie. Really anything I feel like on a week night or weekend without worrying about my husband or small children. If I had a husband I might rather do something with him. Or he might want to have a quiet evening with me after a long day at work, and I would want to give that to him. Or he might feel we should visit someone or do this or that … None bad things! But I have to remind myself to be thankful for the opportunities more unique to this season! 🙂

***

As important as it is to pursue gratitude in the season you’re in, there’s also nothing wrong with desiring and hoping for marriage, I believe! And being excited! So … here’s my second list. Just for fun. 😉

THINGS I’M EXCITED ABOUT IN MARRIAGE:

  • Having a Best Friend

Someone to do life with. To share all the moments – good and bad – with. To laugh with.  Having someone who loves me despite my imperfection. Someone who understands me heart and soul …

  • Someone to Pursue God with

Having a true best friend means, in my case, having a forever partner in this life who I can serve and glorify our King with! I can’t wait to seek the Lord together with my husband. To do ministry together. To love people together. To answer God’s callings as a team. To combine passions and dreams and encourage each other to live life for His honor. I’m so excited. My deepest desire is for Jesus, and to share that desire with the man I’m supposed to be one with sounds powerful.

  • Reading the Bible Together!

Studying God’s Word. Discussing Scripture. I can’t wait to talk for hours and hours about our awesome God with my husband. Have someone to go to with my questions. I know he won’t always have answers, but just having someone you know you can be so vulnerable with … Going to church with my man! Committing to and connecting with a church and having that community of brothers and sisters in Christ with my own little family.

  • Praying Together

I’m a little self-conscious about praying aloud, but I believe in the power and beauty of prayer and can’t wait to pursue a deep prayer life with my husband. Baring our hearts and souls before God as one.

  • Belonging to Someone

Having someone who I belong exclusively to sounds lovely. Just being able to walk into a room, go straight to his side and feel safe and at home. *beams*

  • Leadership

Having a leader. Being his helpmeet. Being his missus. I think God’s design for marriage is so BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL and I’m excited about the chance to grow into a godly wife and be a support and joy to one of God’s sons. Having the purpose of that!

  • Someone I can Hug whenever I want 😀

I’ve talked with several different ladies about how women often crave affection from the men in their life. When a trusted man gives a big bear hug, there’s something about that that makes us feel so secure and protected and cherished. It’s a special thing. But at the same time there are certain boundaries and barriers and brokenness in certain situations … so I look forward to having my own guy who I can get hugs from a lot. 🙂

  • Taking Care of My own Household

Cleaning and organizing how I want. Cooking for my husband. Hosting. Being a stay-at-home-Mommy. #enoughsaid

  • Having Someone Who will Listen to My Endless Chatter

Okay, maybe he won’t love listening to me talk for hours – but let me dream while I’m still single. *laughs* But truly, I look forward to having my own someone who I can talk to each day.

  • My Wedding Day

I am really looking forward to my wedding day, I must admit. 😉 Sharing a very wonderful life event with my dearest family and friends … celebrating together the joining of my life to some special man that God chose for me. Ah. I love family and laughter and fellowship … and weddings are such joyful, intimate affairs. I’m excited for that if it be in my future. 🙂

***

I’m coming to a place of accepting the season I’m in and desiring God’s will and to glorify Him above all else.

But I will admit that my heart aches oh so much as I write this. It’s not exactly a bad ache. It just tells me how very much I desire this.

I think that desire maybe reflects something bigger. Like a deeper hidden desire in my soul that longs for God and to be home with Him.

In the end, I was created for Jesus.

So my desire for marriage teaches me something. If I let it, it leads me to quiet reflection about the ultimate Lover of my soul. Everything points to Him.

If I get married someday, I hope earnestly that my marriage points to Him. ❤ This is something that I pray for.

Right now, I let myself ache if I need to and know that the Lord holds my heart.

I also know that if He has marriage in store for me, He knows the man I will one day marry! With a desire for marriage, I choose to bring my future husband before God in my prayers in faith that He knows my heart and will continue leading me.

So, future husband, I’m praying for you!

***

A little note of encouragement for the guys out there:

Your role as men, leaders, pursuers is incredibly powerful and important. You don’t know how much we appreciate it when you live out God’s design for your masculinity, your strength, etc. I don’t know that we, as women, have the words to describe how we feel when you purposefully pursue a woman, gently woo her, and tenderly cherish her heart. We see a glimpse of Jesus Christ when you are willing to go to all lengths to win her heart – to prove to her she’s loved by you. When you call her beautiful when she feels anything but.

Men, your role is amazingly special. And we deeply treasure what you do. It’s invaluable. Your masculinity. Your strength. Your leadership. Your protection. Don’t let the world tell you otherwise – it almost takes my breath away to see a man acting like a man and a woman acting like a woman, as God designed, displaying a beautiful relationship that reflects a beautiful Storyteller’s love for His creation.

I am not worthy of a good man’s love, but if a man stepped up and loved me and cared for me despite my faults, I know it would remind me of my Savior who gave it all for me and for you.

So, men, we appreciate you. We are grateful for the responsibility you take on as the head of a household. We appreciate the role that God created you for. We feel deeply honored if you choose to pursue in a godly way (even if a relationship doesn’t work out or even come to fruition in the end). The world tries to mess up gender roles and call masculinity toxic and distort God’s amazing design for men and women to be different, but WE WANT YOU TO BE MANLY MEN. When men act masculine, we feel feminine. And that’s just lovely. 🙂

***

Anyway, before I ramble on forever, I’ll end this post. Please comment below and let me know your thoughts!

SINGLES, WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU APPRECIATE ABOUT THIS SEASON?

MARRIED FOLK, WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING MARRIED?

Book Review: Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe

Real Life Romance

Real-Life Romance: Inspiring Stories to Help You Believe in True Love by Rhonda Stoppe

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Do You Believe in True Love?

In a world of broken relationships and hurting people, it can seem like all we ever see is heartache—that marriages are doomed from the start and romance isn’t worth the risk.

But heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us … we just have to look for it!

This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Page after page, you will find inspiration to

rekindle the romance in your love story
trust in God’s providence and timing
faithfully hope for your own happily-ever-after
celebrate true romance
believe in life-long love

Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people—knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

My Personal Review ~ 4.5 stars ~

Quite a thoughtful, fun, and inspiring read! There were a couple things I wasn’t sure what to think about, so that’s why this book didn’t quite reach five stars. But overall, Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe is an amazing, lovely book that I hope to share with others!

“And you’ll discover how God’s plan is for couples to love each other so deeply with His love that their marriages become a light He can use to draw others to know Him.” (Real-Life Romance pg. 9)

So basically, this book is a collaboration of twenty-five unique love stories. Each story is a little different, which is so neat to see. Real-Life Romance is about sweet romances as well as faith, friendship, redemption, loss, secret sin, and forgiveness. It was so awesome to see how God worked in these couple’s lives! It was also fun hearing about the author’s own love story, and those of her children! Breaking the Bro Code: Estevan & Kayla (pgs. 177-188) was especially heartfelt. I was deeply touched by how they used personal loss to keep an eternal perspective and press closer to Jesus Christ.

Some of my very favorite stories were Waiting on God’s Timing: Keven & Suzanne (pgs. 33-38)The Heart’s True Desire: Jason & Noelle (pgs. 39-45)Addicted to Each Other: Jeff & Jennifer (pgs. 105-113); and Connected at the Heart: Bill & Pam (pgs. 131-139). These four were particularly beautiful and powerful to me. I so loved them!

Oh, and the brief bit about Apostle Peter and his wife. Ah! Incredibly tender and soul-stirring. I’m so glad Rhonda Stoppe included that account in Real-Life Romance! It was a perfect way to conclude the book.

I have strong, personal convictions about dating and marriage, so some of the stories didn’t resound with me as much as others. Particularly when couples seemed to rush ahead instead of seeking the Lord and waiting for His leading. One story it appeared that a man was a Christian when he married a woman who was an unbeliever. (She came to know the Lord and has a beautiful testimony, but I question whether his decision was Biblical. {2 Corinthians 6:14-18}) Also, there were at least four stories about divorce and remarriage. From reading the Bible, I firmly believe that God is against divorce and it’s not His heart for His people! (Matthew 5:31-32; Mark 10:2-12; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Romans 7:2-3; Malachi 2:16; 1 Corinthians 7:11-13; Hebrews 13:4). So I’m always a little at loss of what to think when reading about divorce and remarriage. I don’t know the whole stories – background and reason for divorce. And some (all?) of the stories were about people who married/divorced before they had become believers. Anyway, I just thought I would give a cautionary mention about that.

Even when one of the stories didn’t settle with me as much, I felt Rhonda Stoppe herself was pretty spot-on throughout the whole book! After each story, she has sections called Ponder This and Ask Yourself, and I felt she spoke a lot of Biblical truths and raised important questions through those! Even with the concerns I mentioned above, I believe Rhonda Stoppe and I have quite similar thoughts, convictions, ideas, and cautions.

“How might you adjust your life to take your focus off looking for a husband and learn to find contentment in loving and serving Jesus?” (Real-Life Romance pg. 38)

All in all, I think the themes of Real-Life Romance: Inspiring Stories to Help You Believe in True Lovewere of finding your hope and joy in the Lord and believing that He does and will write beautiful love stories and strengthen marriages to be a light and a testimony! I was encouraged. ^_^ Besides a few things that raised questions for me, I recommend this book. Planning to have my mom and sister read at least my favorite stories! *smiles*

“When looking for a mate, it’s tempting to take your eyes off the prize of Christ and focus on who might be ‘the one’. But let’s follow the example of the woman in Tony’s unit. If you run this race of life with your focus on the One who calls you to run, and one day you look over and see a man whose eyes are fixed on Jesus and he places his hand in the small of your back to help you run your race – marry him!” (Real-Life Romance pg. 226)

I received a copy of Real-Life Romance from Litfuse Publicity Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review.

 

**Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life on March 6th, 2018**

Ladies, Stay on God’s Path for You

Have you ever stopped to ponder that fact that God has a plan for your life? That He knows and is ready to be involved in all the details (if you but surrender to Him)? That He has a path set out before you, and you should be seeking Him in regards to each next step?

Ladies, stay on God’s path for you!

Men, this is for you too.

As children of the King, we have a constant Hope and Guide. If He is truly our Father, Lord, and First Love, then we should be inviting Him into every day, every event, every moment, every detail. We should never go somewhere that He isn’t.

ladies stay on Gods path for you

So let’s talk about romantic relationships. Speaking of this, are you going somewhere that He isn’t? Have you surrendered this area of your life to God? Have you invited Him in? Talked to Him about your hopes and dreams and ideas? And then listened? Are you trusting Him to work out the details of your love life, meeting your “special someone”, and your future marriage?

Listen, God is so in control and so able! I believe that if we but surrender our love lives to Him, He can and will lead us in this area! He can and will write our love story. He can and will bring us the right person in the right timing.

Psalm 31:19

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

Psalm 33:15 & 18

15 He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,

So I want to challenge you.

Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.

What does that mean? Surrender. Surrender it all to Him. And trust. Trust that He is directing your path. And stay. Stay on His path. Don’t veer off without His permission because you catch a glimpse of potential romance.

Proverbs 4:26-27

26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.

Do you have enough faith – do you trust God enough to completely surrender this to Him? To give up your fears of never getting married; of still being single when you’re thirty; of missing out? To give your heart wholly to Him and let Him lead you? To open up your hands and allow Him to take the bad,  but also give the good? He knows what is good. He knows what is best for you. And He knows He can sustain you through anything.

Job 1:21

21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

First point – KNOW THAT MARRIAGE IS NOT THE GOAL IN LIFE.

As Christ-followers, getting married should not be our ultimate goal in life.

Growing in the Lord. Falling more in love with Jesus Christ. Glorifying God. Sharing the good news of the Gospel. Making disciples. Loving. Living in community. Making much of His name. Friends, our purpose here on earth is to know God and to make Him known.

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

If marriage is all you think about, all you desire, all you work toward … If you lacking marriage is making you miserable, sad, empty, purposeless, and inactive, then you have made a good dream an idol. You have forgotten—or perhaps never intimately known—your First Love.

1 John 5:21

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Revelation 2:4

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

As powerfully beautiful as marriage can be, it has no power to fulfill you. Without an intimate, personal, thriving relationship with Jesus Christ and a solid knowledge of what you true purpose is as a Christ-follower, you will always grapple with emptiness and feeling unfulfilled.

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So before you start searching for a spouse, search for Jesus. He’s waiting. He says that those who seek Him with all their hearts will find Him! Before you step into making a choice as important as who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, build your relationship with your Father and Lord. Know and believe His love for you – find your worth and purpose in Him.

Psalm 130:5-6

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

1 John 4:16

16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Jeremiah 29:12-14

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,

Find your place in the Body of Christ. Become a part of a community of believers. Start living for His glory – pursuing life with courage, joy, and peace.

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another,

Romans 12:5

so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Acts 2:46-47

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Pursue Christ, not marriage. As awesome as marriage is, it is better to be single than to be married outside of God’s will.

Second point – DETERMINE ONLY TO MARRY A PERSON WHO DESIRES TO/AND IS PURSUING CHRIST LIKE YOU ARE.

The more I grow in Christ, the more I realize that He is everything. He is my only Hope. He is my joy. His Word is my truth. Apart from Him I am utterly empty inside and, in reality, I have nothing.

So, my dear sisters and brothers in the Lord, it makes absolutely no sense to join yourself to someone who does not realize this the way you do.

I believe passionately in having close relationships and being intricately involved in a community of fellow believers. I believe that God made us to be relational creatures, because He is relational! I believe He made us for community – to connect at a soul level with other people. And I also believe that marriage is one of the closest, deepest relationships of connection and community that a human being can have. It symbolizes Christ and the Church. I think it can also represent the Trinity and the close relationship that God wants to have with His people.

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Ephesians 5:23-25 & 28-32

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,

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 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

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Isaiah 62:2-5

You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
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.
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.

Marriage is—should be—the connecting of two souls.

So you should never consider connecting yourself to an unbeliever. In all honesty, how can you? If your soul is connected to Christ, how can it also be connected to a person who does not know this Light?

2 Corinthians 6:11-18

11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

 

And, to go even deeper, we shouldn’t just be looking at the surface – is this man a Christian? But: Does this man follow Christ? Does he know and believe God’s love for him, and show that love to others? Can/will he lead me and our future children spiritually?

1 John 4:19

19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Do you think you will be able to run after Jesus Christ just as passionately married to this man as when you were single?

If not, I don’t believe you should marry him. If anything is going to hinder your relationship with the Lord—including romantic relationships!—then you should part from it.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

Do you not realize? NOTHING is as important as being close to God. Following Him with all your heart all the days of your life. What use is it to you if you gain the whole world—the love of your life, the job of your dreams, houses, careers, passions, vacations, things—but lose what really matters? Deep down, you will always be empty and looking for the next thing unless you let God completely and radiantly fill you up.

Psalm 63:1-5

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

Mark 8:34-37

“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

If a nice young man who attends your church wants to get to know you, make sure you know who he truly is before you let your heart get involved. What is he living for? What is his heart’s deepest desire? What does he want out of life? What is he pursuing?

Matthew 7:20

20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Think about this. Do you want to be married to the man whose house stands firm? Or the man whose house falls?

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

If you strive to glorify and honor God in all you do … Read the Word and pray daily … Dream of doing some sort of ministry with your husband … Have a strong desire to raise your children to know God’s love and serve Him …

… But this young man has hopes and aspirations to make good money, have a nice house, marry the woman of his dreams, raise a couple kids and get them off onto their own with good jobs, retire and enjoy life … oh, and go to church on Sundays, of course.

Well, he might be a very nice Christian man! But please, ladies, don’t get involved – just let him go. Don’t let him dim your passion for Christ. Don’t let him stifle the joy you have in the Lord. Don’t let him pull you away from the ministries the Lord has put on your heart. Don’t let him entice you to settle for a mediocre life when you could have one of thriving in the Lord! (Either single or married to a different man who understands/shares your desire for God.)

Luke 10:27-28

27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Proverbs 4:23

23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

Do you know how many married women long for their husbands to lead them spiritually? Do you know many women have a love for the Lord that longs to grow passionately, and their husbands—whom they’re supposed to be connected at the soul with—just don’t understand? Do you know how this hurts these ladies? Do you know how many women have a deep need and desire to raise their children in the Lord, and their husbands just don’t care about it? –Not only do they not step up and lead spiritually, but they don’t even support their wives in this very important desire!

Not, ever, to say that there is no hope for married women and families in these situations. There is always hope! God is merciful and compassionate. A good and tenderly loving Father. Marriages that started out foolishly, selfishly, or rocky can blossom into strong, godly marriages when the individuals seek God. And if only one individual turns to God, He is faithful to tenderly care for that person and their children, even if the marriage continues to be hard.

Joel 2:25-27

25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

But single women, I implore you, don’t set aside your heart for God while you look for a man. It is not worth it. You don’t know the struggles and heartache it will bring!

Follow Jesus Christ with all your heart! He is truly all you need.

And if, one day, you see a man following the Lord the same way you are, ask God about him! He won’t be doing everything you are, of course. But when Christ is the true desire of both of your hearts, you will connect on a deeper level and know, with time and friendship, that you are running the same race. Desiring the same things. That you would make a great team in seeking after the Lord together!

Waiting for a truly godly man is WORTH IT.

Waiting for a man who will run passionately after Jesus Christ with you is beyond worth it. Waiting for a man who will stand for righteousness. Who will preach the gospel to you. Who will truly strive to love you like Christ loves the Church. Who will pursue you selflessly. Who will lead you spiritually. Who will long to raise your children in the Lord just as you do! Who will get down on his knees and pray with you. Who will open God’s Word each day. Who will continually point you and your children to Jesus.

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This is the man to wait for. So wait for him. And focus on falling in love with Jesus Christ and becoming the kind of woman this man will desire as a wife. Become the godly wife that he should be waiting for! 🙂

And if the years are just going by and you’re not meeting this man … don’t worry. Just fall in love with Jesus. He is your heavenly Bridegroom. You are His bride.

Psalm 84:10-12

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Third point – BELIEVE THAT GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT.

As I journey through life, currently in a season including singleness, I am learning that God knows all and has His own timing for things. For all things. And each season has purpose.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

Life is about what, friends? As Christ-followers, it about knowing God and making Him known! So, in every season, that should be our goal.

We passionately pursue Christ. And we surrender our desires to Him, trust His timing, and delight ourselves in Him and the season He has us in.

Consider this. Perhaps you are *still* single because it’s simply not God’s timing yet for you to be in the season of marriage. Maybe your future spouse isn’t ready for marriage at this time. Maybe he doesn’t realize his worth in Christ – doesn’t truly understand how loved he is by God. Maybe he hasn’t learned how to be a spiritual leader yet.

Instead of fighting this season and struggling against God’s plan, why don’t you give it time? Why not consider that your spouse might need to be in a season of singleness a little longer? Why not commit to praying earnestly for him/her? Why not take a good look at yourself. Are you ready for marriage? To lead spiritually as the head of the family? To be responsible and provide as the man? Or to support, respect, and encourage as a godly wife? To raise children in the Lord? To tell and show them how much Jesus loves them by living in a way that shows you know you are loved by Him?

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect. Seriously, no one would ever get married then! 😉

But it’s always good to evaluate ourselves and our lives and our relationship with the Lord. Be serious. Be intentional. And stop freaking out about possibly getting it wrong or missing out on your last opportunity to get married because you were too picky or some such.

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.

Do you trust God?

With even this?

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Just seek and love Him with all your heart. Run passionately in the way He shows you. And trust that He will write your love story—work out the details—if it is, indeed, His will for you to marry.

1 Samuel 2:30

for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

He is God, is He not?

He is able.

Psalm 37:23

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

Another thought about your season of singleness. Perhaps there is work to do, or a ministry you need to have, while you’re yet single. Maybe you’re not married yet not because you’re not “ready” or you’re making marriage an idol, but because God still has work for you to accomplish in this vital season of life. Maybe your future spouse has a ministry that he/she needs to be involved in as a single person right now! Don’t hinder them in that. Don’t hinder what God’s trying to do in and through you in your own season of singleness.

Ecclesiastes 3:5-7

A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 34 There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

Not at all to say we can’t serve God or do ministry as married people. I passionately believe that marriage and family are beautiful, God-given ministries – ways to serve God! And you can get involved in additional ministries together as a family.

But there are also ministries or specific things that are easier or better to do as a unattached person. When you don’t have the crucially important and big roles of being a wife & mother/husband & father. So embrace this season of singleness and do all that God has put on your heart! Maybe you will never get a chance to do it again in any other seasons of life that are coming up! Live this season to the fullest. All for His glory! ❤

Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

So. Stay on the path that God has for you. Because it is truly the best. Don’t get distracted by romance—by bad men or good men! Only open your heart to that person who doesn’t distract you from God, but pulls you closer to Him! Trust God with His timing. Strive to glorify our King and live life for Him in every season. Singleness is beautiful. Marriage is beautiful. Raising children is beautiful. Using your God-given gifts is beautiful. Pursuing a career you’re passionate about is beautiful. Over-seas missions are beautiful. Mentoring your siblings is beautiful. Every season and passion and opportunity is beautiful as long as we are inviting God fully into our lives and following where He leads.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-13

10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

Psalm 92:12-15

12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Follow His path. Live loved. ❤