Tag Archives: marriage

A woman’s priorities: Three most important things

3 most important things: Obedience to and spending time with God is our #1 priority. But there is no higher priority under God than being a wife. There is no higher calling than motherhood.

Time alone with God will change your life like no other.

Three most important priorities in your life

Do you ever get frustrated with all the demands placed upon you? Our world demands more and more all the time. We need to take time to determine what is really important.

I was asked an interesting question in a job interview once: “If you had to nail it down, what would you consider the three most important things in your life?” My perspective employer told me to think about it before answering, because he felt it was one of the most important questions in the interview. How would you respond to that question?

I told him I would not need to think about the first two. I explained that God must be first in everything, and that my family is the most important part of my life after God. I thought a moment about the third response. Several things vied for that position, but I decided that the thing that means most to me after God and family is my church. That was in 1990 and, as I update this in 2009, my priorities remain the same. These three things top the list for me.

However, for this study, I am going to list the priorities in our immediate family in the proper order. The top three things, then, will look like this:

  1. God
  2. Husband
  3. Children

Family (husband and children) and a woman’s priorities

So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man

–Genesis 2:20-22

Our primary calling under God is to be a helper to our husbands. That is why we were created. “To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you'” (Genesis 3:16).

God placed a natural desire in us to make our husbands our priority. The friction of marriage tends to wear away at that desire. Then we bring that little baby home from the hospital — helpless and demanding — and we forget the first priority God gave us in our homes.

Motherhood is a high calling. But before motherhood we were given to our husbands as a helper. Many husbands are jealous of a wife’s time with the children. This is to our shame. Our husbands deserve better than second rate to the children. When we put them second we are not fulfilling the role God has given us as wives.

There is no higher calling than motherhood. But there is no higher priority under God than being a wife. They go hand in hand. Unless we get the relationships in our families right we cant be what God intended us to be. Caring for our children is part of meeting our husband’s needs. Our husbands want us to do that. They just don’t want to be sacrificed in the process. We don’t have to neglect our children to put our husbands first.

The Bible has much to say about our role as wives, as well as about parents — both husband and wife together. There are examples of Godly mothers in the Bible. But few verses are directed specifically toward a mother’s role in raising her children. This is because it is natural for us to mother.

“To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16) Many of us remember the anguish of childbirth. But when that baby was placed in our arms, the anguish was forgotten. We began to mother!

It is natural for us to desire our husbands too. But the part about allowing our husbands to rule is not so natural for most of us. This requires steadfast devotion to and faith in God. So God is careful to emphasize our role as wives more than mothers.

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:3-4) Which is listed first in God’s command of who we are to love? Husbands or children? God’s order is husbands first, children second. If we follow God’s order our children will be cared for in the best possible way. God’s way is always right.

I am not advocating a mother subject herself or her children to abuse. I am suggesting we do not excuse ourselves for our rebellion against God’s plan for families because of our own selfishness. Much material on this website discusses our role as wives and mothers. Now we turn to our #1 priority.

God and a woman’s priorities

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). It is easy to say God is #1. But is he really #1 in your life?

“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).

“Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:23).

What did Jesus say we will do if we love him? (Obey his teachings). Where do we find his teachings? (In the Bible). Do you love God enough to set aside a time each day to learn about his teachings? Do you have time for God? Do you plan ahead for this time of meeting with him in His word? Do you reserve a few minutes of your 24 hrs for him alone, or is your prayer life always “on the go?”

There is nothing wrong with “on the go” prayers. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). The Bible says, “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

But how can we say he is a priority if we are not willing to set aside a few minutes of each day to devote only to him? You may say, “I tried that. Didn’t work.” Here is what God says:

“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway” (Proverbs 8:34)

“For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there” (Isaiah 28:10)

The King James translation of Isaiah 28:10 says it this way: For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little: (Isaiah 28:10 KJV)

God says it WILL work if you are faithful to do it and don’t give up. Some days you will feel God so near you can almost touch him. Other times you will read the Bible for days or even weeks and nothing seems to happen. But you are being fed.

Think of a special meal you enjoyed recently, something out of the ordinary. Yet, most of the time you probably eat the same type of food day after day. Either way, you are being nurtured. If you are faithful during the times you feel you aren’t getting anything out of it, God will be faithful to develop a foundation in your life that will be strong and secure. He will do it in tiny measures sometimes — barely noticeable — precept upon precept. But one day you will read a passage you’ve read many times. In an instant God will reveal a special truth to you, something you missed before — a special meal. The Bible will begin to come alive for you!

God’s word fits together wonderfully but it takes faithfulness to comprehend its wonders. I’ve talked with many defeated Christians. They come back over and over with the same needs. Yet I have watched God dramatically change the lives of those who are willing to make time alone with God the #1 priority in their lives.

This one thing – time alone with God – will change your life like no other!

Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Loving our neighbor as ourselves takes care of everything else

  • home
  • friends
  • relationships at church
  • work
  • social life
  • mistreatment from others

But before we can get the part about our neighbor right we must get the part about making God #1 right. There is an old hymn that says:

I love Thee, I love Thee, I love Thee, my Lord.
I love Thee, my Savior, I love Thee my God;
I love Thee, I love Thee, and that Thou doest know;
But how much I love Thee my actions will show.

“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him…'” (John 14:23)

Do you love God enough to make time alone with him your #1 priority? Or do you keep putting him off?

  • When I get better organized…
  • When I get the kids in school…
  • When I get a better job with different hours…
  • When I have more time I will spend time with him.

That is Satan’s lie. It will never happen unless you chose to make it happen, unless you choose now — NOW — to make time for God! Do you have to think about whether you will comb your hair each day? Do you ever consider not combing it?

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7)

Is the God who knows the number of your hairs, who cares for the sparrows and says you are much more important… Is he less important than brushing your hair? Our time with God should be just that automatic like brushing our hair. It shouldn’t be up for question as to whether we will do it. He always waits for us. We can come to him any time.

Satan challenges us in this area like no other. Satan knows if he can defeat our time alone with God he can defeat us in every other area. Will you let Satan continue to defeat you?

What time would be best for you to set aside for God? Think of a time right now that would be best to set aside for God. If you don’t plan ahead you will never do it. Commit your heart right now to keeping this appointment with God each day this week. Don’t let Satan steal your time with the most important priority in your life.

What to do during your time alone with god

The concordance in the back of your Bible is wonderful. Use it to find passages relating to Bible people.

  • What made them great?
  • What made them fall short?
  • Notice how God worked in their lives.
  • How did they respond?
  • Learn from their examples.

Are you fearful? Look up “fear and “afraid” in the concordance.

Are you angry? Look up “anger.”

Search for God’s promises that meet your need. Are there conditions to the promises? Ask God to help you meet them.

When you come to the “begets and begots” and other things that seem boring skip them. God has them there for a reason and some day you will go back and uncover the wonderful truths in them. But for now don’t concentrate on the things you don’t understand. Just apply the things you do understand. None of us understands it all. The Bible has some very simple truths in it and some very profound. The Holy Spirit will teach us as we read it. The more we study, the more we will understand.

Spend time talking with God. You can be honest with him. If you don’t feel like praying, tell him. Like this: “God, I don’t feel like praying today. I’d rather be reading a magazine. But you are here, and I want to learn. I am struggling. Help me with this.”

He will hear that prayer…and he will open his word to you. Tell him all your heart things. He already knows. He just wants you to invite him to help. He doesn’t look at our failures to see where he can condemn us. He looks at them to see how he can help.

Your homework for the next week is this:

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is divided into 22 short sections. Read 3 sections each day during the time you have set apart for God. One day you will need to read 4 sections.

Meditate on what you read. Ask God to give you 1 verse each day that speaks to your need. Talk to God during this time just as you would talk to a friend. You may want to write your prayers.

Psalm 119 is a passage on the helpfulness of God’s word. It is written in the form of a prayer. By reading it you will be performing both Bible study and prayer.

God waits for you every day. He will be waiting for you at the time you have selected. Your appointment with Him is the only place you will find what you are missing in your life.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27) If you want that peace you have to spend time with Him.

When I was in high school, I used to dig promises out of God’s word and write them in the flyleaves of my Bible. The flyleaves of my Bible and a New Testament I had then are both covered with penciled promises. I have been a Christian since 1956. God has been faithful to every promise.

Here is my testimony about God’s promises:
“Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them” (Psalm 119:140).

But there was a time in my young adult years when I didn’t have time for God. I was a defeated Christian. My world was collapsing around me.

He was waiting for me. I found answers with God. You can too.

For more help in establishing a daily time with God, click here. This will take you to our old website until I get things moved. We are in the process of moving the website to the site you are on now.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

Wait in expectation, God’s answer is “Yes!”

God always says, “Yes,” but his “Yes” is more than we can comprehend. We see the moment, but God bids us wait in exptectation of his “Yes” that covers the whole of us.

“in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).

God’s Answer is “Yes”

But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
–2 Corinthians 1:18-22

Jesus is “Yes.” He is not “No.” The confusion comes when we ask with wrong motives. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

There can be wrong motive even in something so noble as wanting to put a marriage back together. Motives of personal fulfillment, companionship, or security can overshadow the motive of living for Christ in whatever circumstance we are in. Living by God’s principles is not a foolproof insurance policy for marriage. The ultimate goal is not even a wholesome marriage, but rather to be obedient to Christ. When we are obedient to Christ we can find peace no matter what happens.

Your home may be hurting. You may feel God has let you down. Set your heart to being the wife God has called you to be and leave the results with him. Jesus says, “Yes,” but his “Yes” encompasses a lot more than our minds can take in. We see only the moment, but his is an all encompassing, everlasting “Yes.”

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15). God has promised to give us what we ask of him in prayer. But God’s “Yes” is always in accordance with what is best for us. You may say, how can this be? In that case it may seem “No” to you.

An illustration I heard as a child has always stuck with me. A little boy had to climb a mountain to get to church each Sunday. It was a very difficult and somewhat dangerous trip. Yet he longed for the fellowship and teaching he found with God’s people and he faithfully made the trip each Sunday.

He learned that God says if you have enough faith you can ask him to remove a mountain and he will do it. In childlike faith he began to pray that the mountain be removed so he could easily attend the church.

A couple weeks later he came across some folks working on a building project at the foot of the mountain just before he would have to climb it to get to his church. He asked what they were building, and they said they were building a mission of the church across the mountain, so folks on this side could easily attend.

God did not remove the mountain. So I ask you, did he say “Yes” to the little boy’s prayer? Of course he did!

God’s “Yes” is not always in accordance with the exact thing we are asking. If we are not careful, we may not see his “Yes” when it comes. Begin to look for God’s “Yes!”

Wait in Expectation

Does God ever say, “Wait.”? How do we know when God says, “Wait.”? God always says “Wait.”

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).

Wait in expectation! Wait a few minutes or wait a few years. Wait on God to work it out in the best way possible. “Wait in expectation.” Two seemingly contradictory words. Yet God says it is the answer for us. Wait.

Wait is a peaceful word. It is not worrisome. It is not fretful. It is simply resting in God’s “Yes.” Expectation is not jumping at every flicker of light. It is calm assurance in God’s “Yes.” Yes, he will come through. His “Yes” will be what is good for you in every way. No where in the Bible will you find where his “Yes” promises to restore broken marriages. But you will find where he says, “My peace I leave with you.”

Are you at peace? His “Yes” is peace and hope and the two wonderful words, “wait” and “expectation,” two words that seem to contradict yet meet together in the calm assurance of resting in God’s promise of “Yes.”

Yes, God cares about your marriage! But he cares more about you. His “Yes” takes in all of you, not just your marriage. Jesus says to you: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).

Wait in expectation for his “Yes.” God has given you rest.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

Diary of a selfish Christian

Dealing with marriage and social problems, measuring our lives by verses of the great love chapter of the Bible, changing selfishness to God’s love, challenge to serve freely.

Studies from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Lord, recreate me in your love.

It’s just not fair: one brown sock peeking out from under the recliner (and who knows where the other one is?); a brown and beige striped sport shirt crumpled under the stereo; and, slumped over the corner of the dresser, a pair of brown slacks spilling out a ring of keys and thirty-two cents.

“Love is patient…”

Here comes Diane again. Since she and her family moved next door last month, she has appeared at my door at least three times a week to “borrow a cup of sugar,” or “see if you have a recipe for banana pudding.” Once inside she’ll follow me into the kitchen and ramble for two hours about her sister’s wedding, or her gall-bladder surgery (I’ve heard that four times already), or what a great pitcher little Joey is. Maybe I’ll tell her I don’t have any — no sugar, no recipes, no time.

“Love is kind…”

I wish she’d move again. Better still, I wish we could move to Lakeview Estates, like Sidney and Marie. What a house they’ve got. Split level with a sunken bathtub and private boat dock! And here I sit in this grey brick cracker box across from the convenience store.

“Love does not envy…”

Actually, I just don’t have time to visit with Diane. I need to prepare for tonight’s session of the ladies’ Bible class I’m leading. Let’s see…what is the topic? Oh, yes, the Golden Rule, I think. “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also unto them likewise” (Luke 6:31). That will be easy. I’ve done that since childhood. I’ll tell them how just last week I gave ten dollars to the collection for underprivileged children. Some people never stop and think about others’ needs.

“Love…does not boast, it is not proud…”

Like Tom for instance. You’d think a twenty-eight-year old man could pick up after himself. I got even last night though. Tom’s new friend commented that he likes his home to look lived in. “That’s one thing you can say for Tom,” I quipped. “When he comes home, he immediately begins to add that lived-in touch. He doesn’t even know we own a hamper!” Tom looked embarrassed, but it served him right.

“Love…does not dishonor others…”

He never thinks about me. When he decides to go somewhere, he just goes. And I’m stuck here to referee three kids. But he is always here at time to eat. Why doesn’t he ever consider my happiness?

“Love…is not self-seeking…”

Maybe I’ll just tell him what I think of his behavior.

“Love…is not easily angered…”

I think he is selfish, inconsiderate, and immature!

“Love…keeps no record of wrongs….”

I am a better person than he is. At least I’m not selfish!

Love…does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth…”

He will never change. And I’m tired of putting up with his selfishness!

“Love…always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…”

I think I’ll just give up.

“Love never fails…”

Never?

God, my love fails. My love demands a return on its investment. My love is conditional.

O Lord, recreate me in your love.

All circumstances and names in this diary are fictional.
Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted