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A FIRE IN THE HOME


To the man, the mind of a woman is one of the deepest, most fascinating mysteries of God's creation.

 

Pull up a chair and consider:  

My wife does not seem to be the only one who sets out for the store with a  $20 note to buy one carton of milk.  When she returns I ask her for the change and discover there is none.  There is even a hint of surprise in her voice that I would have to ask and not realize that fact!

A woman's logic does not follow the normal rules of syllogism.  She doesn't realize she needs a thing until she sees it labeled 'BARGAIN'.  On impulse she can buy a dress costing $150 and firmly believe she's SAVED $100 because there was another one there for $250 which she could have bought but didn't.

Who but a woman can make the leap of logic from seeing a bus picking up passengers which reminds her she has to bake a cake for the fete?  After asking you to put a fence around the garden to keep the animals off, she will wait until you have nearly finished before coming to watch progress.  She will then calmly tell you that you've put it in the wrong place!

A woman can be frustrating, impossible to argue with, unable to see reason, be exquisitely beautiful in anger and fascinatingly mysterious.  All at the same time.

Creation was certainly not complete without them.

If it wasn't for a woman in the house, I wouldn't bother going home.  A bunch of guys sitting around in logical discussion solving the problems of the nation and footy is okay at work but would drive me to distraction at home.  She can spend my money, waste my time with wrong directions when we're driving, and misunderstand my motives, BUT I'M LOST WITHOUT HER!

Adam called her Eve which means, 'the giver of life'.  God called her Woman which means, 'the part of man with the womb.'  According to Dr Strong in his Exhaustive Concordance, there are three Hebrew words spelt the same in the Bible with different meanings:  three words, all spelt, 'Ishshah':

- Woman; Sacrifice, as an offering made by fire and it's derivative, fire.  Different, yet amazingly similar!

Who makes a house a home?  Who is it that provides the warmth like the welcoming fire in the hearth on a cold night?  Who turns the barren office or cold classroom into a warm nest?  A woman.  A bachelor pad without a woman's touch is cold and barren.  How many times do we say something needs the 'woman's touch'?

Next time you pick your children up from school, take a walk around the building and you will be able to tell a woman teacher's classroom from a man's.  The man's classroom will have a few posters and maps around the walls – the children are there to learn and that's what they'll do!  Compare that with the woman's classroom – she will have streamers, hanging mobiles, sunny pictures, pot plants, canaries and homely objects.  When the 'fire of God' burns freely in the heart of a woman anything she touches becomes warm and homely.

Whose life resembles an offering made by fire?  I'm not talking about the corny joke about the burnt offerings she serves up to you on a plate each evening!  I'm talking about the person who's at everybody's beck and call.

- She has to get up to nurse the babies in the night, while hubbie goes back to sleep;

- She even has to mother her man when the world closes in on him and then lies awake worrying, while he snores in pacified sleep.

From the beginning to end, a woman's life is a sacrifice and a fire giving warmth to the home.

Didn't we refer to her as our 'flame' during courting days?

The tragedy is that the world no longer honours her as ' women '.  She gets called, 'the wife', or 'mum', or 'the old girl', or the 'lady of the house'.  Our materialistic western culture has tried to dowse the fire in the heart of the home by pouring 'cold water' on womanhood.  Or else it has tried to remove the fire from the home and commercialize it in the marketplace as 'career-woman'.

For many women the fire has gone out.  The sacrifice is no longer 'made with fire' and their work has become sterile duty and drudgery.  They refer to themselves as 'just a housewife'.  When the fire goes out, the home goes cold.  It is no longer welcoming and the family starts to drift off in search of other fires.

Nevertheless, the God who ignited His creation and made earth homely by creating 'woman' watches over His own and revives the hearts of the faint.

God promises that 'a bruised reed He will not break' and a smoking flax He will not quench, till He sends forth justice to victory.'

Our nation needs men who will provide a shelter from the cold winds of the adversary, an environment where the fire of the Holy Spirit can fall on our homes so our wives can rejoice in their womanhood.

Keep the home fires burning brightly!

DOUG DUNCAN

Kingston, TAS, Australia

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Devotionals


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It's My Body!

I can choose what I want to do with it...

And abortion is legal...

But What is Legal Isn't Necessarily Right!

Apartheid was legal but it wasn't morally right. Slavery was legal but it wasn't morally right. Slavery in centuries past and abortions in this century were defended and promoted by the same arguments. Consider a case in the USA: In 1857, the US Supreme Court decided, that according to the US Constitution: "black people were not legal persons. They were the property of the owner. He could buy, or sell, or even kill them." Those who supported slavery argued that no one was forcing those who had moral objection to slavery, to own slaves. But they said: "Don't force your morality on the slave owner. He has the right to choose to own slaves if he wishes."

Just over one hundred years later, in 1973, the US Supreme Court decided that unborn people were not legal persons. They had no civil rights, no human rights and were therefore, legally the property of the owner (the mother). She had the absolute legal right to keep or to destroy her unborn baby. The pro-abortionists say: "No one is forcing you to have an abortion. But don't force your morality on the mother. She has a right to choose to kill her developing baby if she wishes."

Abraham Lincoln in the 19th Century said:
"No one has the right to do what is wrong."

It's My Body. I Can Do With It As I Choose!

Yes, you do have a right to choose what you do with your body - but that choice is made before the baby is conceived. We are free to choose to obey God's moral laws and abstain from sex outside of marriage, or to disobey God's moral laws. Your choice is made before conception... Even if conception is the result of forced sex,

Once conception has occurred, you no longer have a choice - you have a child!
Once the baby is born, you are again free to choose - you can keep the child or lovingly place him or her by adoption. The option that pro-lifers oppose is that of murder.

The Baby Is Not Part of Your Body

After conception, you are responsible for the life of your child. The choices you make will determine whether your child lives - or dies. All our rights are limited when they infringe on the rights of others. The key question is: 'Will I cause harm to someone else?" With abortion - obviously the answer is "Yes!" because abortion kills another person.

The Early Weeks of a New Life

The pre-born baby is a person from the time of conception: Time Magazine and Rand McNally's Atlas of the Body states, "In fusing together, the male and female gametes produce a fertilised single cell, the zygote, which is the start of a new individual." That first cell contains the entire genetic blueprint with all its detail.

The baby's heart starts beating inside the womb three weeks after conception.

Electrical brainwaves have been recorded at six weeks on an EEG. If the absence of a brainwave indicates death, why won't pro- abortionists accept that the presence of a brainwave is a confirmation of life?

At the end of nine weeks, the baby has his own unique finger prints.

By 12 weeks, the baby is sensitive to heat, touch, light and noise. All body systems are working. He weighs 28g and is 6 to 7.5 cm long.

From conception, the new person conceived is as deserving of protection by the law as any other person.

Complications for the Mother

Even legal abortions are unsafe for the mother. There are many physical, emotional and spiritual complications that arise from an abortion. It is not a "quick fix" at all. These are some of the possible results:

Physical effects of Abortion

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Death of some mothers
Death of a baby
Sterility
Future Miscarriages
Ectopic pregnancies
Stillbirths
Menstrual disturbances
Bleeding and intense pain
Infections
Shock
Perforated womb
Frigidity
Breast cancer  Psychological effects of Abortion

Guilt, regret and remorse
Suicidal impulses
Mourning
Nightmares
Lower self esteem
Anger, rage and hostility
Child abuse
Despair and helplessness
Inability to forgive self
Desire to remember death date
Preoccupation with "would be" due date
Loss of interest in sex
Hatred for anyone connected with abortion  

The "Choice on Termination of Pregnancy" law has unleashed a holocaust of child killing across South Africa. It allows abortion on request for any reason, without a waiting period, to anyone in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The most common method used is the Suction Abortion; where the unborn baby and placenta is sucked out of the womb in pieces. Here are some other disturbing facts regarding abortions in South Africa:

From 12-20 weeks, the conditions are so broad that almost any woman could have an abortion for any reason whatsoever!

Young teenagers are able to kill their babies' even without their parent's consent! The parents do not even need to be informed after the fact!

Wives are able to kill their husbands' baby without his consent or knowledge!

• A doctor is not penalised if he acts outside the terms of the law, however, a person trying to save babies' lives may face a prison sentence!

By making the murder of pre-born babies legal, easy and taxpayer funded, this "law" defies all logic. Everyone has been endowed by the Creator with the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty.

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb."
Psalm 139:13

If You are Lonely, Unsure, Frightened and Facing a Crisis Pregnancy...

Please contact a Crisis Pregnancy Centre, where they will surround you with practical and emotional love and support. They will help you in explaining to your boyfriend, husband or parents and help you choose the right decision for you and your baby. They will also give you practical help and advice throughout your pregnancy. Their help is confidential, free and is given regardless of your marital status, age or religion.

Everyone Can Help Stop Abortions...

· Be Interceding: For mothers in crisis pregnancies, for the babies soon to be aborted; for crisis pregnancy centres and pro-life ministries; and that God would have mercy on our land and close down the abortion clinics, and remove this "service" from government clinics and hospitals (James 5:16).

· Be Informed:: Study the Bible to see what it says on the sanctity of human life, murder, and God's commands to take a stand against unrighteousness. Contact Africa Christian Action and ask for free copies of "Milestones of Early Life", "The blood of the innocent - on our hands?" and "Show You Care." Order "Make a Difference, A Christian Action Handbook for Southern Africa" (at R58 per book) and The Fight For Life Audio CD (R20) for the Biblical, medical and social facts surrounding abortion and what you can do to make a difference.

· Be Involved:"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves... Defend the rights of the poor and destitute." Proverbs 31:8-9

 

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach Poster now available! See Pro-life Resources for more details.

Africa Christian Action

PO Box 23632

Claremont

7735

Cape Town

Tel: (021) 689 4481

Fax: (021) 685 5884

The Shabbat Meal

Isaiah 58:13, "Call the Sabbath a DELIGHT."

 

Years ago I read a book of the history of the Jews. In this book, a Jewish man stated that the whole of the week revolved around Shabbat. They would start anticipating it during the middle of the week leading up to it, and then ponder on the joy of it for the next few days until it was time to lead up to it again. When I first read that, I thought it was rather "over the top"! However, now that we celebrate the Shabbat meal ourselves, it has become my own experience.   

I believe the Shabbat meal is the glue that has held Jewish families together for centuries. We would do well to emulate it. Why is it so significant? It is not only a meal where you bring out your best china and silver ware and prepare a special meal, but where blessings fall upon the family. Let me tell you what we do for our Shabbat meal. You can take what you feel would fit into your family. If it does not suit you to do it Friday evening, you could celebrate it on Saturday evening as you lead into your day of worship on Sunday.

I like to use white for Shabbat - white tablecloth, white plates and white candles. In Jewish literature, the Shabbat is described as a bride or queen. We are not only to make the table fit for a queen but to dress for the meal as though we were welcoming a future spouse. (Oops - often I am so busy preparing that I don't get time to dress up by the time we sit down to the meal!)

LIGHTING THE CANDLES

When we sit down to the table, we all hold hands and my husband prays. I then light the Shabbat candles. It is traditional to have two candles on the table (although you can have more). Some say that one candle stands for "Remember" and the other "Observe" as we are commanded to do both these in the Word of God (Exodus 20:8 and 31:16). Others say that one represents "Creation" and the other "Redemption".  As I light the candles I thank God that He is the Creator of light, and that He also gave us Jesus, who is the Light of the world and who lights every one who comes into this world. I ask that God will fill us with His light and also the light of the revelation of His Word. This privilege of lighting the candles is given to the woman of the home as she is the one who is responsible to keep the light of God kindling in the heart of her home.

FATHER BLESSES HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN

My husband then reads Proverbs 31 and praises me. We love to invite others to join our Shabbat table and so we ask each husband present to share some lovely things about his wife. This is always such a precious time. Can you imagine being praised by your husband every week? Doesn't it make you want to have a Shabbat meal right now? Sometimes I will read Psalm 112 (or Psalm 127 or 128) and praise my husband, and if friends are present, the other wives will praise their husbands.

The father of the home then blesses each of his children. This is another wonderful part of the Shabbat meal. It is such a powerful moment when the father blesses and speaks vision and good things into each one of his children every week. It is delightful to see the children with uplifted faces drinking in the blessing and encouragement. They can feed on it all week. Don't forget the baby and little ones. Start speaking into their lives from an early age. We ask each father present at the table to bless his children. The weekly blessing of wife and children will bring a new dimension of joy and blessing into your home.

HAND WASHING

It is traditional to have Washing of Hands. I pass around a bowl of water with a towel and each one washes their hands. This is symbolic of having clean hands and a pure heart. It has far more to do with the purifying of the soul than cleanliness. We usually sing, "Create in me a clean heart, O God" as we do this. This is a good time for apologies and forgiveness if there has been tension or hasty words spoken.

BLESSING THE WINE AND BREAD

Now comes the blessing of the wine and bread. You can use grape juice instead of wine. It is traditional for the father to give the blessing, but we have now got into the habit of all saying the prayer together - "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, King of the Universe, who bringeth forth the fruit of the vine." Rocklyn and Monique love to celebrate Shabbat with us each week. Recently Monique called to tell me that she was watching three-year-old Joshua playing with his dinosaur. He had a crumb of bread in his hand and as he gave it to him, he said, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who bringeth forth bread from the earth." She was amazed at how he had remembered it, just by hearing it each week.

The father then prays over the hallah, the Shabbat bread, although we usually recite it together - "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth."  Making the hallah is part of my Preparation day. The hallah consists of two separate braided loaves, representing the double portion of manna which God provided on Fridays so the Israelites could gather twice as much - enough for two days. It is plaited in three to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I cover the hallah with a linen cloth, symbolic of the dew that came down each night and brought the manna. But we remember more than God's provision of the manna. The Israelites ate this manna and died. We now eat from the Living Bread who came down from Heaven and gives life to the world.  

We do not cut the hallah bread but break it as it symbolizes Christ's body which was broken for us. Each one present breaks off a portion (as big a piece as they desire), and enjoys it with butter or other dips I have prepared while I bring all the food to the table.

ENJOY THE MEAL

Now it is time to eat. Everyone is hungry and ready to enjoy the food. You can cook whatever you like for the Shabbat meal, but make it a special meal. When Rocklyn and Monique are with us they demand I cook lamb chops! It is traditional to make a slow-cooked stew of meat, potatoes and beans. This saves lots of dishes.

Our Shabbat meal is relaxed and full of wonderful fellowship. We are often still lingering at the table at 10.00 or 11.00 p.m. We end the meal, as we end every meal, with the reading of the Word and each one praying around the table. If you have little children, you will most probably finish much earlier. You can then spend the rest of the evening sharing special family time - reading, playing games or singing. Make it special and always enjoyable - never boring or "religious".

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

EXTRA NOTES:

PREPARATION DAY

If you are new to the Devotional List, you may like to read last week's devotion before reading this one. Go to the Above Rubies website, www.aboverubies.org and click on Previous Weekly Devotions and then on The Day of Preparation.

LET ME KNOW

I would love to hear how your family is blessed as you try this weekly celebration meal. Tell me how you go. And how are you going with your Preparation day?

PAPER PLATES

Although it is traditional to bring out your best china and silverware for this meal, you may (if you are a busy young mother) prefer to use paper plates. When your children are small, you can do things more simply. As they grow older, and you have more help, you can do it more elaborately.

HOW DO YOU MAKE THE HALLAH BREAD?

I always grind the wheat freshly for each new batch of bread I make. On Preparation day, I grind the wheat, make my usual bread recipe but add a couple of eggs to it. Hallah is meant to be a sweet eggy bread.  After making three or four loaves of bread, I then take the rest of the dough to make the hallah.  

I divide the dough into six equal parts, roll each part into a ball, and then each ball into six long rolls of even thickness. The children will love to help you with this. I then make two separate loaves, each plaited in three. To do this, pinch together the tops of all three pieces. Start to braid by taking the outer right strip and crossing it over the center strip, bringing it to the center. Then take the outer left strip and cross it over the middle strip, bringing it to the center. Repeat the procedure by alternately bringing the right strip to the center and the left to the center until all are braided. Pinch the ends together. Tuck the ends in carefully. Transfer the bread to a tray and bake as usual.

For a change you can make two loaves of two strands braided together. This represents the two sticks of Judah and Ephraim who will one day be joined together and become one in the hand of the Lord. Oh how I love this promise in Ezekiel 37:16-17.

If you don't bake your own bread, and therefore do not have your own recipe, you could look up this website for some genuine hallah recipes -  http://www.kosherdelight.com/Breads.htm

The Day of Preparation

Mark 15:42, "This all happened on Friday, the day of Preparation, the day before the Sabbath."

Did you know that there is actually a day that is called the day of Preparation? Most versions of the Bible translate Preparation with a capital P. It is a significant day. An important day.

The day of Preparation is the day before the Sabbath, the rest day. In the very beginning of time, God established the principle of a day of rest. It is His gift to us. But, as with many of God's gifts, we often do not realize their importance, or even their blessing. I have to confess, especially being a workaholic, that although I have always known the principle of the day of rest, I have not always been successful in doing it.

How do you have a day of rest? There's still so much to do. The meals have to be cooked. The house has to be cleaned. This and that has to be done. But God never tells us to do something without giving us a way of doing it. Here it is:

You cannot enjoy a day of rest,

unless you have a day of Preparation the day before!

What a liberating principle! I stumbled on it a number of years ago when I started having a Shabbat meal every Friday evening. The word Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath, which means rest. We do not do the Shabbat meal because we are Jewish, or even because we are trying to be Jewish, although we love the Jewish people and love to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord. We enjoy Shabbat because it is the most beautiful family meal you could ever enjoy. Perhaps I'll tell you more about it next week. In order to prepare for this meal, I not only clean the house, but do the extra cleaning (such as clean the dirty spots off the carpet, wipe spots of the doors, disinfect the door handles), and prepare the special meal.

However, when I read this verse and saw that it was a Scriptural principle, I now do it with more meaning and more gusto.  It is my day of extra cleaning. I not only prepare the meal for Shabbat, but prepare extra food to last over the weekend and for our rest day.

Dear mother, would you like to try? You will be amazingly blessed. It is your stress reliever, and every mother needs a stress reliever. The day of Preparation will relieve you from stress.

1.    Because you will actually end up having a day of rest. Because you have worked hard the day before, cleaning and cooking, you will be able to rest from these chores on your rest day.

2.    Because at least once a week you will enjoy a sparkling clean home. This will certainly give you a restful feeling.

Now, when I talk about a day of rest, it doesn't matter whether you make Saturday or Sunday your day of rest. Years ago, the Christians looked upon Sunday as their Sabbath in the same way that Jews look upon Saturday. I myself what brought up this way. We never bought from a shop on Sunday. We cleaned and cooked on Saturday to prepare for Sunday. Sadly, God's people of today have lost something very special that God has given. They miss out on His gift and reap the consequences - lives filled with stress.

God's rest day, is a DAY of rest, not just a couple of hours. (Exodus 35:2) Many Christians give God a couple of hours when they go to church, and then off they go to ball games, movies or whatever they want to do.

I also think that it would make an amazing difference in preparing your children to be ready for Sunday if you were to follow the Preparation day, don't you. I'd love to share with you this quote from the lives of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. It is from Married to a Difficult Man (The uncommon union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards) by Elizabeth D. Dodds.

"Perhaps the most fortunate feature in the development of the children was the sense of privilege they felt, as a minister's family on the great occasion of Sunday. Puritans toiled hard all week, so they took seriously the admonition to rest on the Sabbath. After sundown on Saturday no one could work at all, except to brush sparks from the hearth. They couldn't even make beds. So a Puritan housewife shined up her house on Saturday, and did a colossal baking. Then after three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, the mood of expectancy began to build up to the pivotal day. These people really believed that Sunday would bring an encounter with a living and dependable God who had brought them to the new land and watched over their effort to build His holy commonwealth.

While a large roast cooked all day, to ensure cold meat for Sunday, a great copper tub before the fire held water which was being warmed for baths. Shoes were shined, clothes laid out for the next day, and "modest pieces" ironed. (These were inserts of lace or velvet that were tucked into the neckline of a Sunday dress.) Father abstracted, would be finishing his two sermons for the next day. Then on Saturday night the family sang a psalm together, had prayers and went upstairs to bed with a sense of anticipating drama, as children now do only on Christmas Eve." (My emphasis)

Let your children become part of God's wonderful principles of a day of Preparation and then the day of Rest. Involve them in helping with the cleaning and cooking. Inspire in them an excitement as you prepare for your day of rest.

Next week I'll tell you about the Shabbat meal that will bring wonderful blessings into your home.

 

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

 

PRAYER:

"Oh Lord, I thank you that you care about us so much. You want us to live lives of rest and peace and you have shown us the way to do it. Help me to get in line with you and do it your way. Amen."

AFFIRMATION:

Preparation day is an important day in my home!

REQUEST:

As you begin to put the Preparation day into operation in your home, I would love to hear how it works for you.  Would you please email me? Thanks so much.   

Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week. If you are printing this devotion and need it to be smaller, highlight and change to a smaller font.

If you know others who would be blessed by these devotions, you are welcome to forward them or let them know they can subscribe by sending a blank email to subscribers-on@aboverubies.org

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Feminine Power

Part 1

Genesis 3:17 RSV, "And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you."

I wonder if you are aware of the influence you wield over your husband--for good or for bad. We have feminine power and charms that can subtly turn the hearts of our men.

Satan knows this and he makes the most of it! He used this knowledge to tempt the man in the very beginning. Satan knew that if he was to tempt Adam first, that Adam would have stood up for truth and told the serpent to get off! It was a different matter with Eve. She was more easily persuaded, but more than that, the serpent knew that she had the power to sway her husband.

Basically men want to please their wives. They want to make them happy, because that makes them happy. Just as women have a weakness to deception; men have a tendency to be influenced by their wives. This may not be obvious in their initial reactions and response to what we say, but in the end, our words and influence can determine their behaviour and course of action. We can build up our marriage or we can destroy it. We hold this power. It is in our hands. No wonder Proverbs 14:1 says, "Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands."

We see the influence of women right through history. Through Marxist thinking, feminism and humanism, Satan has duped the minds of millions of women to turn away from their home and God's original plan for marriage and motherhood. But that is only the beginning. He has used them to seduce the men. We now have an epidemic of wimpiness--men who are afraid to lead their families in the ways of God; men who do not take up their responsibility to provide for their family; men who hand over the teaching and guidance of their children to the government or even the church. They have forgotten that they are patriarchs with the anointing to build a godly dynasty and take dominion for God. This has come about through the subtle influence of women.

Even King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, turned from the living God to serve idols because of the influence of his wives. We read about this in 1 Kings 11:1-11, "But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh (gave his heart to them): women from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, 'You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. For surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.' Solomon clung to them in love... For it was so, when Solomon was old that his wives turned his heart after other gods ; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David... Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab and for Moloch the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives , who burned incense and scarified to their gods. So the Lord became angry with Solomon..."

Do you see Solomon's weakness? This was a strong man, the leader of a nation; a wise man to whom people came from nations round about to receive wisdom; a man of vision and order, of whom the Queen of Sheba exclaimed, "the half has not been told"! And yet he was influenced for evil by women! I am sure it did not happen over night, but their continual subtle wiles wore him down until in the end, instead of pleasing God, he pleased his wives and made shrines for them to serve their foreign gods! We can cite many more examples. Samson was duped by Delilah. King Ahab became a wimp by seeking to please his wife Jezebel.

No man is exempt from the influence of a woman!

I find this scary! I am aware of my own influence as a wife. I am guilty of having influenced my husband negatively instead of in a righteous way. I find that I must walk in the fear of the Lord and be continually aware of my feminine, but powerful influence.

We must also remember that our influence is not only in the big things of life, but the little daily things. By our attitude and the words we speak we have the power to affect our husband's attitude to life, to his home and family, to his work and to the people in his life. If we speak negatively about family or people he is associated with he is likely to take up a negative attitude and speak and do things that will be detrimental. If we speak degrading and negative words to him personally, he will never rise to be the man God intends him to be.

As a woman we have power to make great men or little men.

In the same way, we influence our children, and ultimately the whole of society. In most cases, after each new king of Israel or Judah is introduced to us in the Bible, it gives the name of his mother and then immediately states whether her son did "that which was evil in the sight of the Lord" or whether he did "that which was right in the sight of the Lord." The influence of his mother not only determined the future of her son, but the outcome of the whole nation!

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

Prayer:

"Lord, please help me to be aware of the feminine power you have given to me as a woman. Help me to influence my husband and children to righteousness, to love, to joy and to positivity. Save me from being a negative influence. Amen."

Quote:

I am a society changer!

 

 

Part 2.

Genesis 2:18, "And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone: I will make him a help meet for him."

Last week we wrote about the powerful influence we have as women, especially negatively. God created us with enticing charms that can sway the hearts and thinking of our husbands. But He did not give us this power to use negatively, but positively.

God created us to be a helper to our husband. We are to make his life great. He can't do without us. God said that it was not good for man to be alone. He cannot survive without a helper! If we think that we can just look after ourselves, we are missing out on the purpose for which God created us. If we think that we have the freedom to influence our husband to do what we want him to do, we are on the wrong track. If we think that we can say what we like and put our husband down with negative words, we are at cross purposes with God!

Let's get it straight. We were created to help him in the great task that God has given to both of us to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue and take dominion for God in this world. (Genesis 1:28) We have been given a powerful mandate. There is no room for pulling down or leading our husband on a deviant path. To fulfil this world-encompassing Genesis command we cannot be anything else than positive, uplifting, encouraging supporters!

God uses the word "help meet" to describe his purpose for us. The word meet is the Hebrew word neged and means 'part opposite, counterpart, mate, in front of.' In other words, she is opposite to man, but fits him perfectly like a glove.

The word help is the Hebrew word ezer which means ' helper, to come to the aid of'. The amazing thing is that it is the same Hebrew word that is used when it speaks of God being our help! Here are just a few examples:

"God is our help and shield." (Psalm 33:20)

"O God, thou art my help and my deliverer." (Psalm 70:5)

"Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 124:8)

How wonderful to have God for our help. God is always available to help us when we cry out to Him. Are we the same kind of help to our husband? Are we always available to help him? The psalmist proclaims, "Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help ." (Psalm 146:5) If we walk according to God's plan, we will have a happy husband! What about your husband? Does he confess, "Happy am I because my wife is my companion and help."?

Even more amazing is that this word ezer is first used regarding a wife, before it is used regarding God! In "the law of the first mention" the word help is given to a wife! This puts much importance on this issue. We reveal the image of God when we help our husband.

How can we help him?

We help him by being alongside him to help him as he need us.

We help him by speaking sweetly, kindly and positively into his life.

We help him by fulfilling the role that God has given to us rather than competing for his role of provider of the home. We don't help our husband when we seek to take his responsibility of providing. This undermines his manhood.

We help him by caring for the children and making our home a place of joy and sweetness.

We help him by making life easier for him to do his work.

We help him by caring for him physically and nutritionally.

We help him by having an aroma-filled nutritional meal ready for him when he returns to home at the end of the day. This is one task of our great motherhood career on which we cannot slip! It is more important than we realize!

We help him by having the home ready for him when he arrives--toys and mess cleaned up and thrown out of sight!

We help him by being excited to see him when he arrives--even if we have had a lousy day! It is a strong woman who can put aside her self-pitying spirit and by faith put on a smiling face. Greet your husband with joy and talk about the troubles later on--after the evening meal and time with the children.

We help him by being his counter-part--the part that he hasn't got that he needs!

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

Prayer:

"Father, please help me to fulfil the purpose for which you created me. Help me to use my feminine influence to support my husband in the work you have given him to do. Please help me to understand how to help my husband just as you come to my aid to help me. Amen."

Quote:

I am my husband's happy helper!

 

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Dressed for the Job

Luke 12:34 NIV, "Be dressed ready for service..."

What do you do when you get out of bed in the morning? Do you get dressed, or wander around in your robe or dressing gown?  

I believe that what you do depends on your understanding of the task you have at hand.  If you think your career of mothering and homemaking is insignificant, you may not be motivated to get dressed immediately.  However, if you understand that you have the most important career in the nation, you will get dressed for the job. You will be up and ready to report to your Heavenly Employer.

Does your husband ever go to work in his pajamas? What an embarrassment that would be! Does a business woman go to her office in her nightgown? Laughable! But what do you do? How do you go to your work?

You have a greater work that is waiting you as soon as you get out of bed. It is your anointed, influential and eternal career of motherhood. You are employed by God, yes, Almighty God Himself, to keep your home and raise the children He has given you to be mighty in His kingdom. This is no mean task. Nor is it part-time work. It is as important as a politician. You are determining the destiny of the nation. But it does not happen automatically. It takes work! It takes work to run a home smoothly and keep it in order. It takes work to teach and raise children to become well-rounded, confident and godly adults.

To get "stuck in" to this great work, you have to be dressed for the job. No woman can work in her dressing gown. When you get dressed, you are mentally geared for work. You are ready for service.

Can I encourage you to get dressed as soon as you get out of bed and be ready each morning and be ready for the service of the King? I love the rendering of Proverbs 31:1-18 in the Message Bible,

"First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, ready to get started.
She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day."

This kind of attitude brings a spirit of productivity to everyone in the home. A state of slothfulness and laziness should never be part of a godly home. Proverbs 31:27 TMB says, "She keeps an eye on everyone in her household and keeps them all busy and productive."

A mother's task is not only to be productive herself but to keep each one of her children useful and industrious. It concerns me when I hear of children who are allowed to sleep in as long as they like and have not learned the habit of getting up early to start the day. It saddens my heart to see children, and especially older children, sitting around doing nothing! We must teach them to be productive. It is a mother's task to make sure that each child has their assigned tasks for the day and that they are motivated to productive creativity. Once again, it won't just happen. You have to make it happen!

Are you dressed for the day?

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

Prayer:

"Please help me to remember the enormity of the high calling that you have given to me. Lord, I want to be a faithful servant. Please help me not to slack on the job. Amen."

Affirmation:

I am reporting for duty each morning to the King of kings.

Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week. If you are printing this devotion and need it to be smaller, highlight and change to a smaller font.

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A Prickly Pear

Song of Songs 2:2, "As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters."

What a beautiful description of the bride of Christ. In the previous verse Christ is described as the Lily of the Valleys and now she is described as the lily. What Christ is, we are to be in this world as the Scripture tells us in 1 John 4:17.

What do you think of when you think of a lily? I think of...

1. PURE AND SPOTLESS. I am sure your mind immediately thinks of the white Madonna lily with which we are so familiar and yet which also grew in Israel. This beautiful flower has been an emblem of purity for thousands of years. This is the picture of the bride of Christ in this sinful world.

2. HUMBLE. Our Bridegroom is called the Lily of the valleys. Where He is we will be too. The lily does not grow on the heights but in the fertile valleys. The true believer is not high-minded and proud, but has a humble spirit.

3. BEAUTILFUL. Jesus said that even King Solomon, the richest king in all his glory, could not compete with the beautiful lily.

4. TRUSTING GOD. Jesus exhorted us not to worry about what we will eat or wear and used the illustration of the lilies that do not toil or worry and yet God watches over them to protect and provide for them. (Matthew 5: 28-33)

5. NOT PRICKLY. This is the rub. All around us there are thorny people - those who pierce us with their sharp and nasty words and who prick us with their actions. Maybe there are thorny people in your own home or family relationships. Their pricks can really hurt! How do you react? Can you continue to be a lily in these circumstances?

It is easy to be a lily among other lilies. The real test is to be a lily among the thorns!

How can you do this? Only by the power of the living Christ within you. It is the grace of God. It is His life in you. Jesus died and shed His blood to enable you to live as a lily among the thorns. When Jesus was pricked, He did not retaliate. When he was blasphemed and ridiculed he did not answer a word. Jesus who lives within you does not get prickly and upset. He does not get mad and shoot out thorns. Stress and the pressures of life can also make you feel irritable and prickly. But Christ within you does not get stressed out, no matter how huge the problem. Trust Him.

Song of Songs 5:13 describes Christ, "His lips like lilies, dropping sweet swelling myrrh." Prickly words don't fall from his lips. His lips drop sweetness. What drops from your lips? Unkind words or sweet? How do you react to the pressures or hurtful words in your home? Does everyone feel your prickles? It's not very nice being close to a prickly person, is it?

Can you allow the sweetness and purity of Christ to shine forth even when you are being pricked? Even if your husband is thorny?

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL

Prayer:

"Oh Father, please take away the prickliness in my life. I often feel hurt and wounded, but please help me to react like the lily, to trust you instead of retaliating with sharp and unkind words. Amen."

Affirmation:

As He is, so am I in this world.

Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week. If you are printing this devotion and need it to be smaller, highlight and change to a smaller font.

If you know others who would be blessed by these devotions, you are welcome to forward them or let them know they can subscribe by sending a blank email to subscribers-on@aboverubies.org

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Top 10 Time Wasters for Women

Written by Nancy Campbell

The Telephone.

You can waste hours of time talking and gossiping on the telephone. Not only is it time-wasted, but this is usually when your children get into trouble, or be naughty because they realize the phone has taken mother’s attention away from them.

The TV.

I would rather live life than watch it! Teach your children to ‘live’ life, rather than watch it go by. Remember that the day is for work, the evening is for relaxation. A good rule for your home is to never turn the TV on during the day. (It’s still a time-waster in the evening too!)

Reading novels when there is work to be done.

Don’t be tempted to read a novel during the hours of the night, only to wake up too tired to cope with your children during the day.

Self-Pity and Worry.

Thinking about yourself is a deadly time-waster. You can’t adequately nurture your children or bless others while you use all your emotional energy on yourself.

Lack of organization.

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it. It is important to have long-range goals, and a goal for each day.

Lack of Discipline.

Do what has to be done, not just what you feel like doing. This develops character.

Trying to do everything at once.

Tackle one job at a time and finish it completely. Then start another job. Clean one room at a time. You don’t have to get everything done in one day.

Inability to say, "No."

Stay focused. Don’t get sidetracked. Your first priority is to be a wife, a mother and homemaker. Everything else comes second.

Too Much Stuff.

The more "stuff" you have in your home, the more you have to clean. The more gadgets and ornaments you have, the more you have to dust. The more toys your children own, the more you have to pick up. They only need two or three at once. Put the others away. Continually ‘de-junk’ your house. Keep only what you need.

Inefficiency.

E.g. When cleaning up, don’t carry one thing to another room and then come back for something else. Put everything for one room in a box, and then take one trip to that room. Save on unnecessary movements.

Left to Cry

My story begins in the spring of 1966. My mother and father conceived me out of wedlock in their early twenties. Their identity and the facts surrounding life prior to my entrance to this world are unknown. I was born in a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and soon after birth I was sent to the Rock-a-Bye House to await adoption. Six weeks passed and Albert and Phyllis League adopted me. Mom and Dad had already adopted two boys - I was number three. They had a very special gift for loving children and overflowed with love. When I was four years they adopted my sister, Becki.

We spent most of our lives on a horse farm in Maryland. I met Jesus when I was 11 years and one of the first scriptures I learned was, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). I always loved school and worked hard to be the best at everything. I experienced many stomachaches and worried much. I remember having nightmares and spending most nights curled up in a ball sobbing. Sometimes I would say, "Jesus, please don't leave me."

Through Junior and Senior High I excelled in academics, music, sports, and work. I grew busier each year and filled my time with activities and relationships. My stomachaches worsened and the night sobbing continued. My loneliness deepened. Nearly every night I cried out to Jesus, "I just want to be happy."

College life offered a new beginning. It was a great relief to leave the turbulence of home behind and set out on a new course. My relationship with the Lord began to grow. I met Jim Gregory soon after arriving at college and one year later we were married. I knew the Lord sent Jim into my life. He was God's choice for me and I could never have chosen such a perfect match.

During our first year of marriage I still curled in a ball and sobbed. I thought that marriage would heal this loneliness but it didn't. I cried when we made love and I "put off" my husband when he told me he wanted to have a baby. I felt it was important for us to "get to know each other first", finish college and "get settled".

I was deceived with these lies and was filled with selfishness. After college, I pursued a career in banking and children were postponed to "sometime in the future". For eight years we practiced birth control in the form of the Pill and spermicides.

At age 27 I gave birth to our first child, James Randell Gregory. Motherhood was something for which I was totally unprepared! There were no college courses to help me with this most important career. I didn't even have babysitting experience! A friend gave me a book that very outlined how to schedule your baby so life could go on as normal as possible. I read the book and thought it was the best tool a mother could have.

From the day we came home from the hospital I followed the eat-sleep-play routine just as the book instructed. My baby fell right into the routine. At nighttime I would nurse him while singing a quiet song, change his diaper, and swaddle him tight so he would feel secure and lay him in his bed. Jim and I would pray over him, turn on the night-light and shut the door. Off to bed we went.

Each night we would lay and listen to our new baby cry. "Should we get him?" we wondered. "No, the book says that if we go and get him every time he cries he won't learn to sleep on his own...he would become dependent upon me." Night after night I would listen to my baby's tiny cry change into a cry of desperation (which I interpreted as manipulation), to fear (which I thought was a temper tantrum) and then turn to a sob (which I thought, "he's finally giving up!")

I lay rigid in my bed, fighting the urge to "rescue" my baby, to hold him close to my breast. In my heart of hearts I knew this was wrong but the voice of the intellectuals was too great. How could it be wrong if it was so widely supported by the intellectual Christian community I so highly respected? I certainly did not want to raise an undisciplined, spoiled brat! I wanted my parenting to have good results!

After eight weeks I achieved the highly acclaimed goal of getting my baby to sleep through the night. I was physically and emotionally strung out despite the assurances that this practice would allow me to get the rest I needed. I was deceived. We moved from Pennsylvania to Illinois in July 1996.

Our daughter, Evajo Hannah was born and I followed the same regimented schedule. However this time I did not crucify my conscience; she slept in our room at night and when she cried I picked her up and nursed her back to sleep. The taunts of "undisciplined" echoed in my mind, but I ignored them, mainly because the family had to get some sleep! After ten years of marriage and two children, I continued to experience the night-sobbing and deep loneliness.

However, on May 18, 1997 while praying in our Home Group the Lord delivered me from the thirty-one year oppression of loneliness, fear and rejection. During prayer I had what was either a memory or a vision. 'I was lying in a crib curled in a ball. As I watched white curtains gently move I sobbed the identical deep lonely sob that I had sobbed for years in my bed. I began to cry aloud, "I'm so alone, I'm so alone" and for a period of time during that prayer I grieved the deep pain of rejection, abandonment and fear that had clung to me for years.'

That night I forgave my birth parents for abandoning me! Psalm 27:10 AMP says, "Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child]." Since that night I have never curled in a ball and sobbed that lonely sob ever again!

Later the Lord showed me Psalm 129:1,2 "They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, let Israel say they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me." Our third child, Raymond Albert, was born in July 1998. This time I made myself available to baby Ray whenever he needed me. He slept with me, pacified at my breast, ate when he was hungry and he never knew what it was to lay alone in his crib and cry for a mommy who wouldn't come.

Ray is a year old now and we are doing great! The story does not end here. On New Year's Day, 1999 the Lord very gently revealed that just as my birth parents had abandoned me, I had abandoned my first born in those early weeks of his life. His sobs were not "signs of giving up", but cries of deep despair and like my birth parents, I did not come for him.

I was stunned at the revelation and my mind flooded with screams of "how could you have done this to your baby?" I repented before the Lord of my sin of ignorance and asked His forgiveness and restoration. I prayed for an opportunity to confess my sin to my son and seek his forgiveness and restoration. The restoration was necessary because a root of insecurity, mistrust and anger had grown in our relationship. This resulted in a strong rebellion against my correction and discipline.

About two weeks passed and one evening James Randell asked me to tell him the story of "when Mommy was a baby". Looking down into his beautiful eyes I held him in my arms and told him the story of my adoption. I told him how my Mommy didn't keep me. "She gave me to the nurses at the hospital and didn't hold or nurse me." He looked at me so puzzled, "But why Mommy?" His expression moved me to tell him, "Sometimes I would lay in my crib and cry for my mommy, but she never came.

Honey, when you were a baby, sometimes you would cry and I did not come to you." "You didn't pick me up? Why Mommy?" "Well, when you were born Mommy did not know much about babies so I read a book about what to do. The book said not to pick your baby up every time he cries." His looked changed to a very disrespectful 'are you stupid' then he said, "Do you still have the book?" "It's on the bookshelf. What should I do with it?" He pondered the question and after a bit he said, "I think we should throw it in the dumpster!" I smiled at the finality of his decision.

"James Randell, Mommy was wrong. I should have come to you when you cried for me, I should have picked you up, held you close and nursed you. Will you please forgive me?" Without hesitation he put his hand on my cheek and said, "I forgive you Mommy." My eyes filled with tears and I hugged him tight for a long time.

Forgiveness is the beginning of healing and restoration. James Randell now receives correction from me. I am grateful for God's promise, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit." Psalm 32:1,2

MISSY GREGORY

Quincy, Illinois, USA

MOANHOOD OR MOTHERHOOD?


“Who can find a virtuous woman

for her price is far above rubies.”

Proverbs 31:10

 

I am often drawn to this text as I pray for God to mold me into the woman He desires me to be, no matter how much against the stream of normalcy it seems.

  My Interlinear Bible, which is translated directly from the Hebrew, inspires me when I read, “Who can find an able woman? For her value is far above jewels.” The word “able” hit me with a giant thud. I wasn’t as pricked by the word “virtuous” as virtues seem to abound in the feminine sex! I’m only being slightly sarcastic! But “able”! “Able”?

As mothers and wives we often spend wasted brain space mulling over just the opposite. Do these words sound familiar? “I can’t do it anymore!” “I don’t have the energy!” “I’m drained! I have nothing more to give.” “I’m too tired! I’m completely exhausted and wasted. I can’t do one more thing!” We talk ourselves out of any last vestige of energy, and by the power of our minds we feel even more tired than we really are!

“Honey, not tonight! Actually I’ve got a headache. No, it’s a migraine.” “Oh, I just need some time for myself.” “I feel so used. Nobody appreciates what I do around here.” “I’ve got to get out. I’ve got cabin fever.” “I didn’t get a good sleep last night. Come to think of it, I never get a good sleep. It’s all making me old before my time. I found a new wrinkle this morning.”

Ugh! This is putting me in the doldrums just writing about it!

 

How can our husband value us more than jewels when our lives are one big complaint?

 

It is true that we talk ourselves into more than half of our problems. How can we be “able” women and how can our husbands and children truly value us above jewels when our lives are one big complaint? I think the key to being “able” is more about being positive than it is about all the talent and intellect we can possess. There are many gifted people who never accomplish half of what the mere motivated and persevering achieve.

 

How can we be positive mothers when we have made a career of being professional moaners?

 

Have we embraced moanhood instead of motherhood? Just as negativity is a habit, so is a positive and happy heart. The more we think on the good things, the more they become naturally part of our nature. The negative muscles become floppy, weak and slowly deteriorate when we don’t use them. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are pure and lovely. If we make a habit of thinking about the lovely things, in turn, our lives will be a lot lovelier.

We can become negative by worrying about the future. We may dwell today on all the work we have to do tomorrow or even in the months to come. Again, the wisdom of the Bible frees our minds and makes for a happy mother when it says, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)

God is very interested in our thought-life and in the confessions of our lips. Here are just a few quotes:

 “A merry heart does good like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Gird up the loins of your mind.” (1 Peter 1:13)

 

A positive attitude breathes life into our soul and body and actually gives us energy.

 

A positive attitude breathes life into our souls and bodies and actually gives us energy. Satan is all to eager to plant seeds of negativity into our minds because he knows they are seeds of death and make us unable. Negativity is based upon fear, which chokes the very life out of its victims and renders them practically immobile. Negativity holds us captive in a prison of gloom. Being positive frees us to succeed and thrive. Some people see their negative outlook as being realistic. This is another trap of the enemy; a smoke screen to blind us to the truth that will set us free to really live and enjoy life.

There are always two ways to look at things. I exercise everyday as part of my job description as a fit, healthy and happy wife and mother. Many times while on the treadmill in my kitchen I start thinking, “I feel awful. My legs are burning. I can hardly breath. I feel like pulling the plug.” With every second I grow more tired and soon feel completely drained. The fact is everything I’m feeling is truth. However, when I “gird up my mind” I remember how good I’ll feel afterwards and that 30 minutes isn’t that long. “I’ve only got 15 more minutes to go. I’m breathing really well now, and hey, this is easy. I feel great. I’ll race anyone. I’m going to pick up my pace. Wow, look at me go!” There is as much truth in this second thought process and I injected myself with a bunch of energy and ended up with a full tank.

You may get up in the morning, sigh and drag yourself to the coffee pot confessing, “I was up with the baby for four solid hours last night. I can’t make it through today.” This may be true, but the other side of the story is that you had four good hours of sleep. We can feel just as good as we can feel bad.

Thinking negatively involves the “me” word. It makes one too introspective. My mother always says, “If you are feeling depressed, go and do something for someone else. You’ll soon forget about your own problems.”

The negative “so called” facts are not truth at all. They are the enemy’s poisonous darts. To contemplate them digs their venom deeper into your mind. The truth is: we are new creatures in Christ. We are to crucify the “flesh man” and live by the Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit such as patience and longsuffering are now our new character traits. In Christ we can bear way more than the level the devil deceives us into thinking we can handle.

The second line of Proverbs 31:10 reads, “The heart of her husband trusts in her so that he has no lack of gain.” The New Living Translation reads, “She will greatly enrich his life.” How can we enrich our husbands when our own lives are anything but enriched? We can’t give from a drained pot. Often we feel empty and exhausted, not because of our tedious workload so much as the state of our mental reflections.

 

How can a husband feel enriched if his wife

is not contended and happy?

 

How can a husband have “no need of gain” if his wife isn’t happy and contented? If we greet him at the door with a tired expression, a list of complaints, and quickly pass off all the children to him, his welcome home will not be very enriching. It may make him want to retreat! Home should be a solace from the worry and stress with which the world assails him. It should be a place of enriching, a gas station to fill his tank before venturing back into his world of business and stress. Our homes should be an oasis where our husband can take a cool drink of the water of peace, love and laughter. We should meet him at the door with a bright smile, a warm welcome, and with a cheery atmosphere pervading the home.

If he asks how our day was, and we remember how Suzie cut off her little sister’s hair, how Johnny peed on the clean folded clothes, or how the baby spread the surprise in his diaper like peanut butter around the crib, we might feel compelled to say it was a “bad day”. But wait a second! Let’s get out of our negative tunnel vision and see the big picture. There were no major accidents. We are all still alive and breathing. Suzie did really well at her reading lesson and Johnny picked some weeds from the garden and said I was a “beaubibul laby.” It was a lovely day. Come to think of it, it was a great day!

 

When the atmosphere of our home is filled with optimism, our husband and children will feel they can do anything.

 

The Proverbs 31 woman “opens her mouth with wisdom and the law of kindness is on her tongue.” As hormonal creatures, we women can sometimes become so emotionally pent up that when our husbands come home we vomit our feelings all over them before they have a chance to take off their coats. We were made to be our husbands’ helpmeets. We were made to complete them and enrich their lives. God did not create man to be the woman’s emotional counselor or hormonal dartboard. The more we press into God and become positive-thinking women, the less we will be inclined to emotionally regurgitate. Spurting out a bunch of negative goo gah is not opening our mouths in wisdom. Nor is it kind. It is like serving our husbands a glass of gravel instead of giving them a refreshing drink of happiness.

Men are not emotional sorts and just don’t get the problem. My friend told me how she told her husband that she was feeling “out of sorts.” He replied, “Don’t feel out of sorts.” This reply was the right answer but not the one she wanted to hear. Men are wired differently so when our skies look gray we need to go to God first and then maybe call a close girlfriend who will lend a listening ear.

Proverbs 31 continues with its description of the able woman. “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms… she extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy…strength and dignity are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come… she watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

A hardworking woman doesn’t have time to waste in negative contemplation. She has more important things pressing on her mind. If we are truly busy we won’t have time to stop and moan. I can’t picture Mother Theresa complaining about how tired she was or turning away another child.

I love the way the curtains draw on the “able” woman. “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” The Hebrew word for “praises” is “halal”. It means “to shine, to make a show, to boast, to rave, to glorify, to make renown. The root of this word has the idea of radiance.” Are we worthy of such acclamation?  

Let us take on a spirit of rejoicing and do away with negative

gloom. We will then be free to be ‘able’ women whose value is above jewels.

 

SERENE ALLISON


Primm Springs, Tennessee, USA

A CROWNING JEWEL!


Where do you fit with your husband? You may have read the famous quote of Matthew Henry on the creation of the woman, "The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam, not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved."

The Word of God also tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:7 that the "woman is the glory of the man." As the glory of the man, she is also a crown to honor her husband.

Proverbs 12:4 says, "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." I love the Amplified version which says, "A virtuous and worthy wife – earnest and strong in character – is a crowning joy to her husband."

Isn’t it interesting that God says a virtuous woman is a crown? She is not to be trodden underfoot. She is not to be looked down upon. She is not inferior. She is a crown. A crown is worn upon the head. A crown is something that is dazzlingly beautiful. It is usually made of gold and ornamented with precious gems. It is a token of honor.

Noah Webster’s 1928 dictionary says: ‘To crown’ means to invest with royalty. To bestow something upon as a mark of honor or dignity; to adorn, dignify; also to award first rank.

Point five of ‘to crown’ In Webster’s says, "Anything which imparts beauty, splendor, honor or finish; also the highest state or quality of anything." And on this point he quotes Proverbs 12:4.

A virtuous woman adds distinction and dignity to her husband. He is proud to wear her. He wants to show her off. He praises her before others.

When she honors him as king of her home, he will rise to kingly heights in his manhood. When she awards him ‘first rank’ he becomes free to reach his full potential and is inspired to do things he never thought possible. He will treat his wife like a Queen with dignity and respect.

Have you crowned your husband? The more richly you crown him the more you will be blessed.

What does the crown look like with which you adorn your husband? Does it look tarnished and strange because many jewels are missing? Or is it filled with precious gems? What are some of the gems that will make your husband proud to wear you as his crown?

Is your crown decorated with diamonds of devotion, dedication, dignity and diligence that will delight his soul?

Have you set in sapphires that will shine and sparkle with a serving, sacrificial and submissive spirit? Are you sweet to him? Are you a strength and support to his vision and goals in life? Are you sensitive to his needs? Are you steadfast in your loyalty and commitment to your marriage?

Have you positioned pearls in your crown – pearls of patience, peace, perseverance and prayer for your husband?

Oh don’t forget the rubies, the rarest of all gems. Is your crown radiating with rubies of reverence and respect for your husband?

Is your crown ornamented with opals of openness, obedience, overflowing love and the oil of joy?

Don’t forget the emeralds that emanate esteem, earnest commitment, encouragement and endurance.

Adorn your crown with amethysts of admiration, affection, affirmation, approval, appreciation and attentiveness.

Just a minute! You can’t forget the crowning jewel of all – contentment! This jewel adds luster to your crown. This jewel releases your husband from bondage and pressure. Sadly, it is often a missing jewel. It’s easy to be content when you have everything you want. But can you learn to be content when you don’t have everything you want? Can you be content with what your husband provides for you? I am always challenged by Psalm 128:3 TLB where it talks about the "contented" wife in the home.

"If I do all this, he’ll walk all over me," you say. "He’ll become proud and he’s already got a big enough head!" It doesn’t work that way, dear one. When you forget about yourself and seek to bless and serve your husband, you not only crown him with dignity and honor, but you truly become his crown. You won’t be subservient. You’ll be worn on his head as his most treasured possession.

Why not start adding precious jewels to your crown today?

NANCY CAMPBELL

PRAYER:

"Father God, I confess my sin to you of not crowning my husband. I am so busy thinking of myself that I forget to crown him with blessings. Help me to be a crown upon his head that will cause him to shine for the glory of God and to "sit in the gate of the city." Show me the jewels that you want me to add to his crown. Save me from doing things that will make him ashamed. Please help me, Lord. Amen."

QUOTE:

A woman who is a crown to her husband…

C Cherishes her husband. (Titus 2:4)

R Reverences her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)

O Obeys her husband. (Titus 2:5)

W Watches over her husband to do him good. (Prov 31:11-12)

N Never nags her husband. (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9,19; 27:15)

P.S.

I’d love to share with you some very beautiful marriage vows that a young couple wrote for one another for their wedding recently. Actually, I shared with the young bride about being a "crown" to her husband at her Wedding Shower and I was thrilled to notice that she added this to her beautiful vows.

"My love, no one has heard me the way that you understand me.

No one has touched my heart the way that you heal me.

No one has loved me the way that you fill me.

No one has presented Jesus’ love the way that you make Him my Prince.

No one has mirrored me the way that you complete me.

No one deserves my love the way that you humbly take it.

I take you for all that you are all that you’ll ever be, as my FOREVER BELOVED.

It is my desire to join with you hand in hand with our Father, to bring more of God’s kingdom to this world.

It is my desire to be a virtuous wife, that you may wear a crown on your head.

Today, I give to you and to the Lord my life and my worth.

I return from independence to dependence.

From now through eternity I am yours…

Yes, and Amen, your Bride.

And here are the Groom’s vows…

Today, I make a covenant with God and with you to love you like Jesus loves the church.

To learn your ‘love language’ more fluently and then to speak it more clearly.

I promise to lift you up on my shoulders if God’s plan for your life seems out of sight.

To hold your hand when you feel like it is dark all around you.

I promise, with the grace of God, to make you and our family first in all that I do.

Not to leave you behind, but to walk by your side every day.

I believe that God’s intention for my life was to marry you and share the rest of my life with you.

So, I pick up the rod of husbandhood and leadership and put on the cloak of humility.

I also promise to have a lot of fun with you!

Your Groom.

Didn’t you love these vows?



© Lues 2012