Movie Review: Unplanned

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Unplanned

~ My Personal Review ~

I am so torn up inside right now. I knew this movie was going to be hard to watch, but I didn’t quite realize to what extent. The gruesome, shocking reality of abortion is portrayed in a very raw way in Unplanned. It left me so deeply shaken, yet I want everyone to see this film so our eyes are opened to the real battle for life in front of us, and the butchery that goes on in clinics like Planned Parenthood. It is truly unfathomable. The fear. The lies. The deception. The money. The blood. The evil. There is a spiritual war here that is enormous.

Unplanned is based on the true story of Abby Johnson, the youngest director at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Her career started out volunteering at this abortion clinic, and built up from there. Until one day, around eight years later, she saw something that would change the trajectory of her life.

Life. Life is sacred! Yet every day in our civilized nation, helpless babies are being ripped from the womb in most horrific ways. I could hardly watch as it played across the screen – the ultrasound showing this tiny baby fighting for its life as it was being suctioned out of its mother’s body. This is the standard abortion procedure. Oh, my heart is heavy.

Some scenes are like watching an awful crime movie where the doctors are the serial killers. And they openly murder babies each day … yet the extent of what they’re doing is kept somewhat under wraps. So many women have no clear idea of what they’re doing when they go in to end that unwanted pregnancy. I can’t even find the words to describe it. The horror. So cold. So calculated.

Maybe you’re wondering why I recommend you watch such horrible things. I say because it’s not just a movie. It’s real life. This brutal killing is happening every day. These ignorant and afraid expectant mothers are being lied to and abused. Life is treated so carelessly. So maliciously. These babies … these women … need our voices. Unplanned shows with raw, gritty detail that abortion is a declaration of war against the unborn, against life, against womanhood. Against God. For each of these unborn babies is an image-bearer of Him. May He have mercy.

Despite the darkness portrayed and the heaviness this movie brings, it had it’s light moments sprinkled in here and there. It was well-done. Truly gripping and intense. Very moving … this story strikes deep and forces you to face the reality of abortion. And there were beautiful moments of redemption. Scenes that gave hope.

So what are we going to do with the truth we now hold? The truth of what abortion and being pro-choice mean. The truth of what goes on in clinics such as Planned Parenthood. We have to be a voice for those who have none.

With a strong caution attached, I recommend you watch this movie. (It’s free with Amazon Prime.) Especially if you’re not 100% pro-life or unsure in cases of rape or incest. Watch it if you’re pro-choice. Watch it if you’re pro-life. Hear the true story of a director of Planned Parenthood and the brutal truths she uncovered.

And more than just watching a movie, truly stand up for life. Pray. Pray at the gates of an abortion clinic! Support, donate to, and volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center! Participate in a march for life. Educate women with love and gentleness. Champion behind adoption. Place high value on and esteem women, motherhood, children, and pregnancy. Value life.

Unplanned is truly a needed film in our day and age. Incredibly important. Don’t miss the chance to be impacted.

Unplanned Movie Website

Watch the Movie Trailer

Buy the Book

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Abby Johnson’s Website

Abby Johnson on Facebook

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Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, on Facebook

Lila Rose on Instagram

The Candace Owens Show: Lila Rose

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

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

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

David Platt – Attachment: The Gospel and Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Part 1

David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Voddie Baucham – Biblical Manhood

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

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

John Piper – When a Man Loves a Woman Well

Fashion and Womanhood

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Fashion.

Sometimes it is just so difficult to find an outfit to wear in the morning. I suppose I’m the typical female. There’s been many a time when I’ve strewn my room with clothes, trying on one thing after another. But nothing looks right! Ah! Can you feel my stress?

My teen brother asks me: Who are you trying to impress?

Well, sometimes I am trying to impress some guy, I suppose. As I woman of God, I want to dress in a beautiful, decent way that reflects and honors Him. And I want to save the sexual and sacred and private for my future husband. But still, there’s that desire for men to find me pretty or even well put-together and fashionable.

Other times, there aren’t any young men I’m trying to impress. But I still feel this pressure when getting ready for an event. Like maybe I’m trying to compete with the other women who will be there. I have to look good, and feel confident about my external appearance. I have to measure up to them. I’m not necessarily trying to make myself better than them, but I’m still dressing in a competing way. I’m comparing myself to other women in my mind. I want them to approve of/be impressed by my appearance. I want them to accept me.

This causes stress. This incites anxiety. This fuels insecurity. This tempts me to dress immodestly because it’s more trendy or flattering.

But this is all wrong! We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to other women. And we certainly shouldn’t be competing. We should be a loving, serving, helpful, grace-filled community, especially with our sisters in Christ.

We don’t look down on girls we deem “unfashionable” or “unpopular”. We don’t feel insecure around women we deem “trendy” and “stunning”.

For one thing, fashions and trends change like crazy. They mean nothing. Secondly, beauty is not the all-important factor in God’s kingdom. In fact, it is fleeting.

Proverbs 31:30-31

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.

Perhaps you wear makeup and she doesn’t. Maybe she dresses super stylish and you dress more plain. Dresses, pants. Long hair, short hair. Lots of makeup, no makeup. Trendy, classy. Jewelry, no jewelry.

It all comes down to personal sense of style and, sometimes, lifestyle conviction. But in the end, fashion and beauty do not define who we are as women.

Not to say how we clothe ourselves is of no importance. I believe as women of God we should dress modestly and femininely, with decency and beauty. But this cannot consume us.

We are not the extent of our beauty or popularity.

We are daughters of God, and need to more preoccupied with having the fruits of the Spirit than having the perfect clothes and accessories!

Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

We need to be more preoccupied with loving each other than “measuring up” to each other! We need to remember that these women we’re competing with and comparing ourselves to are precious souls, made in the image of God. And if they’re believers, they are our sisters! Our family. Dearly beloved by their Father God.

And you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. If you are a woman, you have the gift of femininity. You don’t have to follow all the fashion trends and have all the perfect accessories to live out your womanhood and femininity beautifully.

So next time you’re getting ready to go out, and feel anxiety welling up, stop and consider:

Am I trying to make sure I measure up to Emma?

Am I too desperate to impress James?

Confess those things and ask God to help you overcome them. Accept yourself as you are. Accept Emma as she is. And remind yourself that if James is a good man, he won’t be looking for perfection, but authenticity and a love for the Lord.

Dear woman, you don’t have to impress men. You don’t have to impress your fellow women. Simply live for the Lord. Love Him. Love others.

As for fashion, choose decent, classy, and feminine! Choose what’s you as a unique daughter of God! ūüôā

Book Review: Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

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Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

My Personal review ~ 5 stars

Feminine Appeal¬†is a refreshing, little Christian Living book that I feel is overlooked! In a world where true femininity is fading, and being a homemaker, wife, and mother is scoffed at, Carolyn Mahaney encourages us to take another look at our unique design as women. What did God create us specially for, and how can this impact the world? Are we embracing this gift … the gift of feminine appeal?

Consider the loveliness of a woman who passionately adores her husband, who tenderly cherishes her children, who creates a warm and peaceful home, who exemplifies purity, self-control, and kindness in her character and who gladly submits to her husband’s leadership – for all the days God grants her life. I dare say there are few things that display the gospel jewel with greater elegance. This is true feminine appeal. ~ Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

Truly, reading this book reinforced my passion for Christ-like marriages and godly homes. My heart was swelling with such excitement and joy at the thought of being a homemaker someday and creating a warm home where Christ is exalted. Of being a wife and helpmeet to one of God’s adopted sons – to support him and encourage him in whatever God is calling him … us … to do. Of raising children together to know the love of their Creator and serve Him all their days.

Both husbands and wives will become more Christ-like by having to deal with each other’s sins and deficiencies. We must settle this issue in our hearts. We married a sinner, and so did they. But this is the hope for our marriage: God forgives sinners and helps us grow to be like Him. ~ Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

Remember that we vowed in our wedding ceremony “to love and to cherish till death do us part”? Do we even understand what we promised to do? To cherish means to hold dear, to care for tenderly or to nurture, to cling fondly to, or treat as precious. ~ Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

This world is lacking homes. True, beautiful homes where Jesus Christ is adored and family is cherished and strangers loved on. I honestly believe that the breakdown of the family and godly home is what is leading to so much destruction in America. Think of the impact that we, as women, could have on society – on people’s souls – if we took our femininity and its roles more seriously. We have the unique ability and responsibility to be homemakers and wives and mothers. For the sake of the Gospel. For the glory of God.

Dawson Trotman, founder of the group called the Navigators, once said: “I believe with all my heart that one of the greatest soul saving stations in the world is the home.” And I love what one person observed about Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s wife, Edith: “As many people were brought to the Lord through Mrs. Schaeffer’s cinnamon buns as through Dr. Schaeffer’s sermons!” ~ Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

What an extraordinary thought – that we can create a home where it is “impossible to keep from thinking of God”. ~ Feminine Appeal ¬†by Carolyn Mahaney

Feminine Appeal is based on the teachings in Titus 2, and addresses loving one’s husband and children, self-control, purity, intimacy, homemaking, kindness, submission, and more. This might sound like an old-fashioned, outdated book to you, but I think you’d be surprised. God’s design never goes out of style … In fact, it is forever good and even delightful! What do you have to lose by giving this book a try? We can see that the culture’s way of womanhood doesn’t seem to be garnering that great of results.

Some points of this book might really challenge you … even feel revolting to you. But should women’s ministry be all about feel-good chats, inspirational quotes, and never feeling guilty? Since when have Christian women become the ones who can never be rebuked or corrected? We are in the wrong sometimes – many times(!) – and we need to repent and seek God’s face. Lord, teach me how to be a woman!

The specific instruction in Titus 2 is for wives to be “submissive to their own husbands.” This word submission in the Greek means to “voluntarily place oneself under.” ~ Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

The definition of the Greek word for “respect” means “to be in awe of, to revere, or to treat as someone special.” Is that how we act toward our husbands? Do we respect them with our words, tone of voice, countenance, and body language? ~ Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

This book is easy to follow, and definitely worth the read! As I mentioned above, it ignited my passion and desire anew for homemaking, marriage, and motherhood. After finishing it, I wanted to get a copy for my mom and other dear wives & mothers who I know! It’s also a great resource for unmarried women such as myself. May we cherish our femininity. May we esteem marriage, motherhood, and keeping a home, and pray for God to teach us even now how to do these things well should He call us to them.

Overall, I highly recommend. We don’t have enough books like this!

 

Be a Man

What does it mean to be a man?

How can I, as a woman, encourage my brothers in Christ toward godly masculinity?

What qualities should I look for in a future husband?

These questions roll around in my head. …Because doesn’t it feel like, in this day and age, that true manliness and chivalry are fading away before our very eyes?

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I recently read a scene from a book that nearly took my breath away.

A boy, on the cusp of manhood, stepping in between a girl and the lash. He stepped behind her, shielding her with his body … and when the blows drove him to his knees, he pulled her down with him and covered her.

With tears welling up in my eyes, I thought: Now this is true manhood in all its strength and beauty.

EPHESIANS 5:25-28

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 

Does that scene remind you of something? Perhaps of Christ stepping in for you? Shielding you from wrath with His Body? Letting His blood be spilled in place of yours?

And what is true manhood but a reflection of Jesus Christ?

I don’t often feel deserving of the chivalrous acts of men, but it is a stunningly beautiful reminder to me of God’s lavish and grace-filled love for me. For I did not deserve His mercy and blessing, but He gave it anyway.

So, my friends, though it may seem elusive, chivalry is not dead. It is not outdated, old-fashioned, or unneeded. It is not a silly practice of medieval days.

1 CORINTHIANS 16:13-14

13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Chivalry is more important than you know! It is desired. It is beautiful and wonderful.

Even the small acts of opening a door or offering a polite smile and nod, these are meaningful to women.

…That is to say, to women who embrace their womanhood.

Despite what the feminist culture wants to tell us, most women innately desire to be treated as feminine creatures, worthy of honor, protection, kindness, and gentleness. They want strong men. They long to see chivalrous acts from the men around them.

We are women! And healthy women naturally want to feel feminine, womanly, and beautiful. They want to be cherished, respected, and protected by good men.

EPHESIANS 5:28-29

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

In today’s world, we don’t get that very often.

There have been times that I’ve been walking through the store and had to really make an effort to move out of the path of a man barreling my way. It’s left me a little unsettled, the way he stares, like, “Move out of my way or I’m gonna run you over, woman.”

Another time, my coat tie got stuck on the rail in an elevator. Everyone emptied out quickly, and the one guy who noticed my plight laughed sheepishly and started to leave as well. The words: Can you help me? died on my lips. I managed to figure out where I was stuck and free myself. And lest you think the guy was a completely unscrupulous sort, he did hold the elevator door open when he saw that I freed myself.

But such encounters leave me feeling unprotected deep down inside. Do young men feel no natural protective instinct or honor toward women these days? Do they no longer jump into action when a woman is in need? Or nod kindly and step out of the way, like a gentleman, when they meet a lady on the path?

Even if they don’t know if a woman needs help, if it appears that she might, a simple: Hey, do you need a hand? might provide some relief.

This is not to say that I can’t step out of the way, or that I’m incapable of taking care of myself under minor distress – like I was in the elevator.

But I think it’s important for men to daily live out their masculinity in small ways in order to develop Christ-like chivalry that will flow into bigger, more dire situations.

1 CORINTHIANS 13:11

11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

1 TIMOTHY 5:1-2

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Men must have a higher view of women. Not because we are better, but because we are different.

We are not just another “guy friend”. We are unique from men, and should be treated differently. With gentleness. Tenderness. Thoughtful honor and respect.

The Word of God calls for men to give honor to the woman, for she is the weaker vessel. And no, this doesn’t mean that she is less intelligent, inferior, or of less worth.

1 PETER 3:7-9

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. 

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing,

But think about it. On average, men are bigger and stronger than women. Usually they can build muscle mass faster and bulkier than women. Over the centuries, men have been the ones willing and ready to fight for their families and country, and take the jobs of policemen, firemen, etc. Even today, there aren’t a whole lot of women who are wanting, or even think they’re physically and/or emotionally capable of going to war and such.

By divine design, men are more inclined to take the difficult and gritty roles of protecting, providing, and hard physical, or emotionally tough, work.

With more strength comes more responsibility.

1 TIMOTHY 5:8

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

I don’t see myself as any less than men, but I do see myself as made for a vastly different role than men. And honestly, I know that I’m weaker … at the very least, physically.

It’s sensible to assume that at 5’5″ … and more slender than strong … not many men would have a problem overpowering me physically. Perhaps knowing this makes me crave, even more, gentleness and honor from men – especially those in my life. It gives me a general sense of security and well-being.

As for emotionally … I’d say that in most ways, I’m the stereotypical woman. I’m emotional, and very relational, and all that. And sometimes women are flattered and manipulated by unsavory men. Though, by growing in maturity and in my walk with the Lord, it becomes easier to recognize and avoid these men, I do believe that God made women to be under the covering of a man – such as her father. A man who will look out for her and hold any suitors to a high standard. For the young woman’s well-being, honor, and happiness!

Though I am weaker, if I know that a man highly esteems me and would never use his strength against me – but rather to protect and cherish me – then my weakness doesn’t matter.

Versus if a man uses his strength to harm me in some ways, then I am insecure and my weakness frightens me. I might feel the need to harden myself. I might want to prove myself to men so that they won’t take advantage of me anymore. I might despise my femininity. My nurturing, gentle spirit. My womanhood.

I feel like this is what happened with some of the women in the feminist movement. They were hurt, perhaps emotionally, by men. And now they want to protect themselves. To prove themselves. To make everything “fair” and equal and same. But in this mad rush to give evidence that they are just as good as men, they often trash their femininity and the unique qualities and roles that make them women.

PROVERBS 14:1

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

And also, with their brash, hardened, spiteful behavior, they squelch chivalry in men.

But again … chivalry and godly masculinity are for women’s good!

Not just in the big things, but in the small things. There are some things that I could manage on my own, or grit my teeth and bear. But when a man steps in and offers his help, I feel highly honored. And thankful.

When I’m walking on unsteady ground, I can probably get to my destination without too many mishaps. But if there’s a man nearby and he offers a hand to steady me, it’s an appreciated kindness.

I can put gasoline in my car in the winter and just manage to bear the cold (I hate cold, haha!), but if a guy offers to do it for me, I’ll quite gratefully accept and let him live out his masculinity – bear the cold for me!

Not only does a truly manly man reflect Christ, but men being masculine helps women live out their femininity as God designed. There is a reason that God created us as

male and female

masculine and feminine

with divine purpose

with different roles

with distinct, unique strengths …

It is to wholly reflect Him and radiantly glorify Him!

And it is for our good.

Oh, let me tell you, dear people, it is so good to be unashamedly, freely, beautifully, uniquely, femininely, divinely … a woman. Just exactly who God created me to be. How glorious. How good. How purpose-filled. How exciting. How adventurous. How delightful!

GENESIS 1:27-28

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‚ÄúBe fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.‚ÄĚ

We cheat ourselves out of many a good thing when we stray from God’s design for womanhood and manhood. We cheapen ourselves when we push for today’s culture’s definition of feminism, liberation, and sexuality.

Only when we go back to the Bible will we find our true selves. As Christ-like women. And Christ-like men.

Femininity and chivalry are essential.

So men … pursue God. And be unashamedly men.

2 TIMOTHY 1:7

7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

“Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart” Book Talk!

Hello, my lovely readers! I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting regularly. I’m not sure what happened … *looks bewildered*

Anyway, there is a new book releasing that I want you all to know about. Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality is Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal’s third book! Their ministry, @GirlDefined, has really impacted my life. I love their books. And I so truly want you to read them! These sisters are passionate about helping women find their identity in Christ and live out His design in freedom and joy! ‚̧

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Find Kristen and Bethany on their website, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Bethany, and her husband, Dav, also have a fun Youtube channel: Dav and Bethy.

So, this book is releasing the 30th of this month, April! I’m so excited! I’m praying for God to work mightily in the lives of the women who read this book. I’m part of the launch team, so I received an early copy of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart. It has been phenomenal! Look for my personal book review soon! And watch my unboxing video on Youtube!

If you pre-order by the 29th, you will receive some FREE, special bonuses such as an adult coloring book, an audiobook, and a private Q&A with the authors + their husbands!

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I hope you all will give this book a chance … even if you don’t normally read nonfiction. Kristen and Bethany help us to recognize God’s awesome design for sex and intimacy as laid out in the holy Scriptures. They show that you can truly find freedom from sexual sin! You can find forgiveness, new beginnings, and glorious beauty as you turn to Him and use your sexuality as God designed!

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Kristen and Bethany don’t shy away from the tough questions and shameful topics. They get to the heart of the issue.

Our brilliant, loving Creator designed us all as sexual beings, and obviously, His plan for that sexuality is the very best. We don’t have to live in sexual immorality. By His strength we can rise up to beautiful heights of purity and holiness and freedom. Our sexuality has very intricate purpose in our lives.

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So yes, I highly encourage you to read this book, fellow women! And read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity and Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships, if you haven’t yet!

Read this book. Do a book study on it with your girl friends. We are all sexually broken. But we can find wholeness in Christ. Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart is simply, beautifully another tool to help us discover that … and the beauty of living out our sexuality God’s way.

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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

true woman 101

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

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

redeeming the feminine soul

Let Me Be A Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

let me be a woman

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

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

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

building her house

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

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

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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

true companion by nancy wilson

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

happily ever after

~Motherhood (& Fatherhood) ~

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

missionary mom

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

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

father hunger

 

Resources For Studying Biblical Womanhood & Manhood

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

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

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

~ Sermons ~

David Platt – Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Part 1

David Platt – Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: Part 2

David Platt – What About Women, Paul?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Work Fellowship – Love: Marriage For Dummies

New Work Fellowship – Respect: Marriage For Dummies

***

~ Youtube Videos ~

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

John Piper – When a Man Loves a Woman Well

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

J.D. Greear – Spiritual Headship

J.D. Greear – The Problem of Divorce

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

Emily Wilson – Accepting Chivalry

Liz Wheeler – This is How Real Men Act

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

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

PursueGodVideos – What It Means to Submit to Your Husband

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

Girl Defined – 3 Ways Christian Girls Can Promote Godly Manhood

Ultimate Marriage – The Biblical Roles of a Husband and Wife

Ultimate Marriage – The Basics of Biblical Marriage

***

~ Books ~

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

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

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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

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Woman by Divine Design by Dr. Jeffrey L. Seif

woman by divine design

Submissive Women?

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

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

Some would answer with an emphatic “yes”.

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

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

Husband and wife lead together.

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

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

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

At what point does God’s Word become irrelevant?

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 19:8-9

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

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

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

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

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

Rather, the opposite.

God cherishes His daughters, and highly values womanhood.

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

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

Proverbs 31:25-29

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ephesians 5:22-33

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

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

Titus 2:1-5

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

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

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

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

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

1 Peter 3:7

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

Colossians 3:18-21

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

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

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

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

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

Ephesians 5:23

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

1 Corinthians 11:3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genesis 2:7 & 15-25

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

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

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

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

23 And Adam said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galatians 3:26-28

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

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

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

Jesus submitted to God.

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

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

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

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

Philippians 2:5-8

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

John 6:38

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

1 Corinthians 15:28

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Peter 3:1-6

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

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

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

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

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

Proverbs 14:1

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

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

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

Book Review: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

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Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

My Personal Review ~ 4 stars ~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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