Tag Archives: obedience to god

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

Don’t take your home to Tarshish

Our choice: run to Tarshish, taking our homes into the storm, by refusing to follow God’s plan for wives in the home; or go to the Nineveh of submission in obedience to God.

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:8).

Running in the wrong direction

Do you ever turn and run the opposite direction from which God tells you to go? Years ago the prophet Jonah ran from God’s direction too:

The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
–Jonah 1:1-3

Selfish motives

God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh. Why did he not want to go there? Jonah answers this question in chapter 4:

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:1-2)

Jonah didn’t want to go because he knew that the people of Nineveh didn’t deserve God to forgive them. He knew if he preached to them they would repent and be forgiven.

This seems to be the ultimate of selfish excuses. Yet every time we run from God, we are doing it with selfish motives. Like Jonah, many times we are standing in the way of others coming to know Christ, and we may not even realize it.

Right circumstances

When Jonah chose to go to Tarshish, he chose to go the exact opposite direction from the way God told him to go. Tarshish was south. If you look on a map, south is always down. When we run away from God, our life always heads into a downward spiral. Sometimes we kid ourselves into thinking God approves our misbehavior. After all circumstances are right for it.

What circumstances were right in Jonah’s life to make it seem okay to go to Tarshish?

  1. Jonah was able to find a boat to Tarshish.
  2. The boat had room for him.
  3. He had money for the fare.
  4. There was a wind going toward Tarshish so the boat would sail.

Bringing it home

What about in your home? It is easy to decide our husbands dont deserve our kindness and helpfulness, just as Jonah felt about the people of Nineveh. We often find circumstances that seem to invite us to go the opposite direction. We want to run from that which God has called us to be in our homes. We want to follow our own plans. God permits it, and the circumstances seem equitable to it.

Running in their own power

The sailors ran from God

When Jonah ran from God, he set the stage for others to run too. The sailors had no doubt heard about the powerful God of the Hebrew people. They began to question Jonah during the storm:

[Jonah] answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”

This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so) Jonah 1:9-10.

The sailors feared the God of Jonah. Yet, rather than call on Jonah’s God themselves, they looked to other things for help. According to the first chapter of Jonah, what are some things the sailors looked to for help before finally turning to God and following his directions?

  1. They looked to other gods, gods who could never help, gods with a little “g,” not the only true God who could help them.
    • All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god…
      –Jonah 1:5a
  2. They tried to fix the problem themselves by throwing cargo overboard.
    • And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.
      –Jonah 1:5b
  3. They asked someone else to pray for them before they prayed for themselves.
    • The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish”
      –Jonah 1:6
  4. They tried consulting mysticism by casting lots.
    • Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
      –Jonah 1:7
  5. They blamed someone else. So often we are tempted to blame our husbands for the shape of our homes.
    • So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”
      –Jonah 1:8
  6. They asked advice from someone else before they consulted God.
    • The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
      –Jonah 1:8
  7. God showed them his solution through the other person. They refused to follow.
    • “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.
      –Jonah 1:12-13
  8. They tried to run away from the problem: Instead, the men did their best to row back to land… (Jonah 1:13).

How would you feel if God said, “Throw this man overboard, that is my solution!” They must have been appalled. How many times has God shown us something we are to do in relation to our husbands and we have said, “Oh, no God, anything but that!” We want to be independent. God says we are to be dependent on him.

The sailors turned to God

“Then they cried to the LORD, ‘O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.’ Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him” (Jonah 1:14-16)

When they got right with God the storm ended. They did this by:

  1. Calling out to God.
  2. Recognizing Gods sovereignty.
  3. Obeying Gods instructions.
  4. Fearing God.
  5. Offering a sacrifice to God.
  6. Making vows to God.

Bringing it home

Some of their own solutions, for example throwing the cargo overboard, were sensible. But God’s only acceptable solution was repentance and trust in him. We have our own ideas of how things are to be done in our homes. As wives God tells us to be submissive to our husbands.

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives (1 Peter 3:1).

Anything short of that is running away, running to Tarshish, and God will certainly deal with it. This is not to say we should allow physical abuse and God’s Word does have some things to say about desertion and fornication. But most of the time we break Gods rule for us as wives in the home because we just flat don’t like it.

Running or revealing?

“He answered, ‘I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land'” (Jonah 1:9).

Jonah was a Hebrew. By saying “I am a Hebrew,” he was saying “I am one of those through whom God reveals himself to the world.” Yet, by his rebellion against God’s direction, Jonah ran from his responsibility to allow God to reveal himself to the world through him.

Bringing it home

According to 1 Peter 3:1, if our husband is an unbeliever, we, as a Christian wife, are one of those through whom God reveals himself to our husbands.

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives (1 Peter 3:1).

Are you running, or revealing?

Running from accountability

Because Jonah refused to follow Gods will for him, those he was to be an example to suffered:

  1. They experienced great fear (Jonah 1:5,10 below).
  2. They had to throw some of their possessions overboard.
    • All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep… This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done? (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so)” (Jonah 1:5,10).
  3. They had to live with throwing a man overboard.
    • Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm (verses 14-15).

    How would you like to have to live with that?

  4. The worst thing of all that people had to suffer because of Jonah’s rebellion was this: The people of Nineveh had to continue in darkness until Jonah repented.

Bringing it home

If we refuse to follow God’s plan for us in our homes, our husbands, our children, all in our household will suffer. We are accountable to God.

Running to God

The storm and the fish

God sent the storm, and God sent the fish.

  • God sent a great wind. “Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” (Jonah 1:4)
  • God also sent a great fish. “But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17).

God will chastise his children greatly, and God in his grace will also provide great protection for them even in the midst of the chastisement. The fish is a perfect example. It was chastisement. It also protected Jonah from being drowned in the ocean.

The forfeiture of rebellion

You can read the story of Jonah’s repentance from the belly of the whale in Jonah 2:1-10. Jonah summed his experience up with these words: “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:8). That is an awesome statement.

How much we forfeit when we cling to our idols, our “rights” in our home. When we rebel against God’s plan for us in 1 Peter 3:1, we forfeit the grace that could be ours.

We sometimes do this just by refusing to study the word that we might know God’s will for us. We refuse to study and find out what his will is, then when we know his will we run from it, because we think it is too much to ask. We think our way is so much better. This is fleeing to Tarshish.

Those to whom Jonah should have been setting an example, the very ones who God had called him to minister to (for us as wives/mothers that is our husbands/children) — those very ones are the ones who saw Jonah’s disobedience and had to deal with it. They are the ones who were hurt by Jonah’s disobedience. When Jonah repented and got right, people repented and placed their faith in God.

Tarshish or Nineveh?”

Jonah repented from the whale’s belly and God again called him to go to Nineveh. Jonah obeyed God and “On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned’ (Jonah 3:4).”

The people of Nineveh believed God, and the king issued a proclamation:

“Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.
–Jonah 3:8-10

Nineveh repented and turned to God, all because Jonah said, “I was wrong. I have rebelled against God.” Jonah repented, and this opened the door for the lost to repent.

Bringing it home

The choice is ours: Either we run to Tarshish, and take our homes into the storm with us by refusing to follow God’s plan for wives in the home; or we go to the Nineveh of submission in obedience to God:

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives” (1 Peter 3:1).

Prayer

Lord, we ask that you give us hearts to follow you. Whatever choices you are calling us to make, help us keep our eyes from Tarshish. Help us say “Yes,” and go to Nineveh, even if it seems so hard. For we know your promise, and we thank you for this: “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:8).

Thank you for that wonderful grace Lord. We love you and trust you, and to be in your plan for us is far more desirable than any Tarshish that may seem so convenient. Help us not choose convenience but rather obedience Lord. Thank you for your faithfulness when we do. Amen.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

03. Live by faith: Trusting God’s faithfulness

We are no longer ignorant of God’s requirement of submission to his faithfulness. Our submission to God is demonstrated by submission to our husbands. Anything short of that is rebellion against God.

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 3 (1 Peter 1:17-21).

We Are Accountable

God has called us to take the ultimate step of trust in His faithfulness. “Your faith and your hope are in God….” (1 Peter 1:21). By submitting to our husbands, we are trusting God to intervene for us if needed. We are totally dependent on God. There is no safer place.

What if He Leads Me to Sin?

But what if my husband leads us into sin. Will I not be held accountable? The Bible has much to say about submission to our husbands. Yet no where in Scripture does the Bible address how a woman is to respond if her husband asks her to actively participate in a direct sin. There is a good reason for the Bible’s silence on this issue. When a woman submits to her husband in an act of total submission and sacrificial obedience to God, God will never allow her husband to require her to actively participate in a direct act of sin. She is “shielded by God’s power” (1:4).

What if He Forbids Me to Serve?

God will never allow his children to be placed in a position of having to choose between two opposing commands. It may seem so at first. But if she looks to God, he will provide a way of escape. God may allow a husband to deny his wife the privilege of actively participating in commands that God has given. For example, a wife may desire to tithe or be active in church and her husband may forbid it.

“Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt” (Numbers 30:13-15).

God may allow her husband to deny her the privilege of certain acts of commitment and worship. But even as her husband denies it, he is unknowingly providing her opportunity for a more supreme sacrifice of commitment and trust in God by submission to her husband.

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear” (1:17).

“Man” in this verse is referring to “mankind,” both male and female. We call on a loving heavenly father. In our father’s eyes we are judged individually and impartially. We are accountable before God to be the wife he has called us to be. Whether our husbands fulfill the role God has called them to as Godly leaders is immaterial to our responsibility before God. It is also immaterial to God’s provision for us. God will judge us impartially and provide for our needs as we are faithful to the wifely role of submission he has given us.

We Are Secure

How can this be? We are bound together as one flesh. Our livelihoods are bound together. Yet the God who created male and female, who ordained marriage, who hung the stars — this God will move heaven and earth if necessary to meet the needs of a wife who faithfully submits to her husband and trusts in her God! We no longer have to live in emptiness and defeat.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1:18-20).

We are “chosen…for obedience.” Christ was chosen for the sacrifice that would pay for our disobedience!

“Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (1:21).

“Your faith and hope are in God…” When we as wives refuse to submit to the leadership role God has given to our husbands, we are placing our faith and hope in our own ability rather than in our God. We are deliberately choosing to live outside God’s will. That is the most dangerous place on earth to be!

God has called us in some ways to take a step of faith even greater than that to which he has called our husbands. He has called us to willingly submit to the judgment of another whether that judgment is sound or unsound. God has called us to take the ultimate step of trust in His faithfulness.

“Your faith and your hope are in God….”

Prayer

Thank you, Oh Lord, our Judge, that you stepped down from the bench to long enough to give your life for our redemption. You have demonstrated a love that we can trust. We bow in submission before your throne. Amen.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Is submission to our husbands always compatible with obedience to God?
  2. Has God ever shielded you by his power from a wrong action someone required you to take?
  3. Why is it dangerous to live outside God’s will?
  4. What should we do if our husbands lead us away from what we feel is God’s plan?
  5. How does the Scripture “Your faith and hope are in God…” apply to marriage?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.

03. Living God’s Word: Teaching our children day by day

As mothers, our first responsibility, and God’s #1 commandment to parents, is to love God supremely. We’re to live and teach God’s Word to our children day by day, moment by moment.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart….” (Matthew 22:37).

Our First Responsibility

As mothers, our #1 responsibility is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might. Jesus crowned all the commandments with this one. And this is God’s first commandment for parents in Deuteronomy 6:5.

“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).

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

We will not be perfect parents. There will always be more we could have done. But if our treasure is in God all along the way, we will constantly look to Him for leadership.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

We are to love the Lord supremely, and keep obedience to God foremost in our hearts. We are to teach our children that God is to be #1 in their lives also. We are to talk about obedience to God’s precepts throughout the day at every opportunity. God is to be so much a part of our lives that our love for him flows naturally into conversation and action.

He knows what he has planned for each child. He knows we have already missed the mark of his perfect plan. That’s why he sent the Savior to redeem those who will look to Him.

Only he knows the way from where our children are to where he wants them to be. We may lead them in general terms, but only God knows how to get there from here. The Holy Spirit will impress upon us that little extra we are to do at this moment to help that individual son or daughter to see God more clearly.

We are to teach our children the Word of God. We are to read it, talk about it, love it, honor it, reverence it, obey it, memorize it, and treasure it. We should tell our children often that, while we may not have many earthly riches to give them, we give them a gift far greater than all the riches in the world, our most valued treasure, the Word of God.

Our Promise

What an inheritance we give them! And we have this promise: Every nugget from God’s Word that we put into our children’s minds and hearts will not return void, but will accomplish God’s purpose in their lives.

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

What a promise!

Day by Day

The Bible says we are to teach our children little by little as we go through the years with them. Little by little, year by year, day by day, moment by moment. We may only have moments that are ours to teach our children God’s precepts. But let us make those moments count.

“Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule ; a little here, a little there” (Isaiah 28:9-10, NIV).

“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 Will Do It

The God who fed a multitude with a little boy’s lunch (John 6:8-13) will multiply our moments also if we do the best we can to raise our children for God in the moments he gives us!

Were it up to us to make sure our children did not depart from the training we give them, what hope would there be? But God is the one who has called us to train them in the way they should go. And God is the one who has promised that they will not depart from our training. And God is the one who is faithful. God will ever remind them of the training we’ve woven into their lives.

The further they stray, the more he will call to mind what we’ve taught them about him. God will never let them go.

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

What a mighty God we serve!

Application

Give God the #1 place in your life today. Begin to teach your children God’s principles little by little, day by day, as you go through everyday life with them. Ask God to help you and trust him to guide each step of the way.

Thought to Remember

The further our children stray, the more God will call to mind what we’ve taught them about him. God will never let them go.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What is God’s #1 commandment for parents?
  2. How do our shortcomings as parents affect God’s promises?
  3. How do we know the way each individual child should go?
  4. What is the most important thing we are to teach our children?
  5. How are we to train our children?
  6. Whose responsibility is it to make sure our children do not depart from the Scriptural training we provide?
  7. Where can we get the wisdom we need to train our children?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

Alone in Moab

Naomi may have grieved to leave God’s promised land, but she followed her husband to the heathen Moab. As a result, she became great-grandmother of King David, an ancestor of Christ.

“The women living there said, ‘Naomi has a son'” (Ruth 4:17).

God’s Plan for Women

Today many women are finding themselves alone, rejected and vulnerable. The Women’s Libbers of the 1960’s will tell you that we’ve made great progress in correcting this. But Women’s Lib has done more to destroy the true liberation of women than anything else in history. God says:

“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3)

God’s desire is for women to be very important members of society. He has provided an especially protected position for us. God desires that women be productive, but also esteemed highly by their husbands, fathers, and other male kinsmen/protectors:

“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7)

Man may fail to do this. He may leave a woman vulnerable, or even abuse her himself. But, oh, the protection a woman of God has at this time! No longer is she dependent on the mercy or care of the man. If she has been faithful to follow God in submission to the authority he has placed over her, God himself will step in to intervene for the woman who is betrayed, rejected, deserted, or abused.

God intends her to be cherished and protected. As long as she follows him in faithful obedience, he will move heaven and earth if necessary to be her provider and sustainer. He will cherish her and protect her in his own watch care and love.

Rachel

“Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years” (Genesis 29:30).

Ladies, would you choose to be Rachel or Leah? Any woman would chose to be Rachel, the most loved wife. But Look what God did for Leah. In light of eternity, he gave her the far better position!

When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.

Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.

Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.

She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children

–Genesis 29:31-35.

When Leah lived, a woman without a man was basically outcast and helpless. To have male sons secured a woman’s future. Without male sons, she had little protection or hope in society if her husband died.

Leah’s child Ruben was Jacob’s firstborn son. Rachel’s womb was barren for the first few years. God enabled Leah to have the first sons. Why? Verse 31 indicates God saw her plight and intervened.

God chose Leah’s son Levi as priest to for special communication between God and the people. All the priestly line, the Levites, were offspring of her son Levi.

By the time Judah came, God had used her faithfulness and obedience to grow her in peace regardless of her second-rate position in her home. She was able to say with joy, “This time I will praise the Lord.”

The most glorious blessing of all, one that every Hebrew woman craved, was given to Leah, not to Rachel. Leah’s son Judah is the father of the tribe from which Jesus, God’s son, would come!

If you are a despised, rejected, lonely woman remember: Jesus especially looks after the woman whose plight is this, if she honors him and is obedient to his will. He made woman to be protected. He himself will be her special protector and will cherish her with tenderness when the man she is in submission to fails to provide that!

Naomi

“In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there” (Ruth 1:1-2).

Naomi was one of God’s chosen people. Suddenly she found herself alone in Moab.

There is no evidence from Scripture that God told Elimelech to leave the promised land and go the the heathen land of Moab. No, God had promised the children of Israel that he would supply all their needs in the land of promise that he had given them.

Apparently Elimelech decided that God needed some help in this. When the famine came, instead of trusting the promise of God, he moved his family to a heathen land for sustenance.

Naomi went with her husband. She was submissive to her husband’s leadership. Possibly her own heart told her this was not the best solution. Her tender womanly spirit may have made her grieve at leaving God’s promised land to go to a heathen world. But she was obedient to God’s command to follow her husband’s leadership.

It is very possible that Elimelech went to Moab in disobedience to God and that Ruth went there in obedience to God.

What did she get for her obedience? Her husband and sons died and left her totally alone in a heathen land. She had no means of support, no family except these two heathen daughters-in-law that her sons had married. Anyone not of the chosen race of Isarel was considered heathen. But were her daughters-in-law really heathen?

Obviously they both cherished their mother-in-law. Naomi must have shared with these two women about God and the promised Messiah. Ruth trusted in this promise. She trusted enough to leave her home and country and return to the land of promise with Naomi.

God honored Ruth’s faith by providing a husband for her. He provided a son to “heathen” Ruth, a son who was ancestor to King David, and ultimately to the Messiah himself!

What happened to Naomi who was left alone in Moab because of her trust in and submission to God?

The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!

He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him.

The women living there said, “Naomi has a son.” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

— Ruth 4:14-17

The child was not even a blood relative of Naomi: “Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, from the clan of Elimelech, a man of standing, whose name was Boaz” (Ruth 2:1).

Ruth was her daughter-in-law from Moab. Boaz, the one Ruth married and father of their son Obed, was a relative of Naomi’s husband Elimelech.

Yet the Bible says the women proclaimed: “Naomi has a son.”

In God’s eyes Naomi has a son too, just as if he were from her own blood line. God overruled the blood line to bestow upon Naomi the honor of being considered the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus himself!

What About You?

Are you alone in Moab? If you went there of your own choosing, Jesus bids you to turn, come back to his promised land. But if you followed God to Moab, you can rejoice. You are not rejected. Do not be afraid. Trust in God, and he will bring you all the way home.

“I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, `You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:9-10).

Prayer

Thank you, Jesus, that we have such a great and mighty promise, and that as women we are so loved and cherished and protected that you provided this special place of watch care near your heart.

Thank you that you will never leave us vulnerable as long as our hope is in you.

Thank you for the promises from your word Lord and the stories in the Bible of God’s faithful women.

We ask for grace, Lord, to be God’s faithful women that will live for you in all circumstances and we thank you that you will bring us safely all the way.

Amen.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted