Letters from Mentors

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I LOVE having a daughter – I never dreamed it would be this much fun and that she’d be this feminine from the get-go!

But, with all that said, it’s actually a lot scarier to me having a girl to raise.  I understand boys ❤ and although they need a lot from their mothers, a lot of the bulk of their gaining and understanding their masculine strength can only come from their fathers.  So while it’s been beautiful to see my husband fill that role pratically perfectly, this new baby girl has turned our world upside down in this respect.  Now I’m the one who needs to teach her what true femininity and godly womanhood looks like.

Lord have mercy on me!  LOL 😀 😛  Even with all my studying, it still feels like a job I’m not fully prepared for.  But that’s why I’m forever grateful to mentors, my own mother ❤ , older women at church, and blogs with that kind of guidance.

Proverbs says to get all the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that you can, and it’s wonderful that we have access to people we’d never know if it wasn’t for the internet!  I love how there’s so many women I’ve come across over the years who have been kind enough to give me tons of advice on raising children and being a godly wife!

In fact… I’m seriously considering starting another mini-series, complete with it’s own tab (maybe), called “Letters from Mentors,” where I’ll be featuring emails I’ve received from women usually in their mid-40’s or 50’s, who have given me AMAZING advice on different topics that would fit well here on my blog.

Women you’d see in this series would be people like Sunshine Mary (Sunshine Thiry), Liz (red pill commenter from years back), Stingray (from On The Rock), Lori Alexander (from The Transformed Wife), April (from The Peaceful Wife), Ame (from Blending Ame), RPG (from NotesFromaRedPillGirl), and a few other Christian women I’ve reached out to recently to see if they’d be interested.  Hopefully it will be an expanding thing, even with my real life mentors contributing from time to time.  I’m in debt to so many of these incredible women for the advice they’ve given me over the years and setting a positive example of seeing them interact online and in real life.  And the online ones love to write! LOL  So why not try to capture some of the letters I’ve received from them, that maybe would be helpful to other women out there as well who are in the middle of raising a family?

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In fact, my husband is helping me create a little booklet for our daughter of all the posts I’ve written under the tab for her.  I figured these “Letters from Mentors,” would go great in there as well!  I’m a big paper person… I love books you can physically hold.  This little booklet is only about 8-9 inches tall, in a mini-binder, and so cute!

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And it’s so sweet how quick these older, wiser women were to either reach out to me themselves, or to be open to my going to them to seek their wisdom.  They were so generous and kind-hearted toward me, and so humble!  And thankfully, I’ve only ever had one woman snub my request to email her and then humiliate me for asking, but then I realized… maybe she really didn’t have any wisdom to impart afterall... LOL 😀 .  Oh well 🙂 may the generous, humble ones be honored and praised for gladly giving advice to someone younger looking up to them.  It is definitely appreciated, and now I’m hopefully going to find time to capture their words in our homemade book (and here), so others can have access to their wisdom, too.

***

Stingray is the first woman’s advice I’d like to write about here on this post.  For people who don’t know her, she used to run a very well-written blog on male-female, red pill concepts, with a heavy focus on married women’s responsibilities, called On the Rock.  I urge you to go check it out!  A woman in her mid-40’s, with a growing family and husband she adores, she is a faithful Catholic with admirably strong convictions.  I adore her.  When I was pregnant and we found out it would be a girl, she was one of the first women I thought of when thinking of people online to ask for advice on a variety of “raising a daughter” topics.  That says a lot about the impression she had on me.

Like I said before, it just seems so much harder raising a girl, than it has been raising boys.  Our culture is so dark, and where it used to be more based on virtue and morality, now it’s actually praised to sleep around for years, before finally deciding to get married and have children – if a woman decides to get married at all!!!  I don’t want her to be like that.  I don’t want her to choose a more painful, even disastrous path for herself.  And I don’t want her growing up believing that it is “ok” or desirable at all, even if our idiotic society deems it acceptable.

I’ve rambled on too much.  Here is just one of Stingray’s excellent letters, I sincerely hope you as a reader, enjoy it.

 

Good morning, Stephanie,

I’m sorry this has taken me so long to write.  
I do have 2 girls.  Things are different in raising them in that you will be more hands on and your husband will be less with them, but the dynamic of both is still really important.  But really, the biggest thing is that your girls will be watching you to see how to navigate the world.  They will watch how you treat your husband, how you dress, how you approach house work, how you approach the world around you, etc ad infinitum.  But, and this is hugely important in my opinion, they will turn to your husband to learn how to navigate men.  Not directly, but Dad is their first love.  Obviously not in an inappropriate manner, but they will still look to him to see how he reacts to their learning how to be feminine.  
They will look to him to see how he reacts to how they dress, “Do I look pretty, Daddy?” How he reacts when they bake him something, to something they accomplished, etc.  He will be a far more effective teacher of things like modesty because they will learn from him what men like.  Dad’s approval and disapproval in HUGE.  So it will be you who teaches them directly, but it will be Dad’s reaction that sends the lesson home.  
As far as tantrums, it depends.  Some “tantrums” are quite charming and cute.  Dad might not want to stop those outright, because a girl learning how to influence her father in a good way is an excellent skill for her to learn.  We used to jokingly have the girls go to their dad and flutter their eyelashes when they would ask him for something and it was great fun.  It’s also a good lesson.  He would say no when appropriate and yes when appropriate.  They learned that it wasn’t always going to work, but also that it was cute and was influential.  But then, he would always shut down hard any girly tantrums that were just tantrums.  
Does that make sense?  In essence, you want to teach them how to use their femininity for good.  Because for better or worse, they will learn how to influence men and that is a powerful thing.  A tempting thing.  Most especially if they are beautiful.  So learning early on what a strong man will allow, and more importantly, what he is capable of, is hugely important.  
So my best advice is to use your instinct.  You don’t want them to squash who they are, you want them to be the beset them they can be.  That includes all those feminine things that they can use to destroy or build up.  It ends up being that you will directly teach, but they will want to buck you.  Your husband will be the one who indirectly shows them that what you are teaching means everything.  
Let me know if any of this doesn’t make sense or if you have any more questions.  Also, thank you for the compliment.  Blogging just took a back seat to growing children and family.  It had to and it just kind of happened organically.  Plus, the manosphere lost it’s shine for me.  It lost it’s intellectual appeal with more and more people coming in.  I knew it would, it was just a matter of time.  
I hope you are all doing well!  
Best, 
Stingray
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Praise & Gratitude to the Lord Our God!

We’re celebrating our Easter party later today for all of the police families in our department.  As I sit and reflect on how joyous and grateful I am for God’s redemption and promises, I’m filled with utter gratitude at how He has so taken care of me, even though each of us are like an ant to Him.  I often think about the sweet sparrow family we have at the front of our house, how tiny they are, how insignificant they appear to be compared to the rest of the animals and goings-on in the world, and remember that the Bible says He notices even them!

Songs of Praise I’m singing this morning:

Happy is the man who fears the LORD, taking great delight in His commandments!

His descendants will be powerful in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed!

Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever!

Light shines in the darkness for the upright!!!

He is gracious, compassionate, and righteous.

Good will come to a man who lends generously and conducts his business fairly.

He will never be shaken!

The righteous will be remembered forever.  He will not fear bad news because his heart is confident, always trusting in the LORD!

His heart is assured; he will not fear!

In the end, he will look in triumph on his enemies.

He distributes freely to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.

His horn will be exalted in honor.

But the wicked man will see it, and be angry; he will gnash his teeth in despair.

The desire of the wicked will come to nothing.   (Psalm 112)

***

I have sought Your favor will ALL my heart ❤ Lord, be gracious to me according to Your promise!  

I thought about my ways and turned my steps back to Your decrees.  I hurried, not hesitating to keep Your commands.

Though the ropes of the wicked people who stalk me, were wrapped around me, I did not forget Your law.

I rise continuously at midnight to thank You for Your righteous judgments!!  

I am a friend to all who fear You, to those who keep Your precepts.

Teach me good judgment and discernment, for I rely on Your commands.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.

The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey Your precepts will ALL my heart ❤ !

Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I take delight in Your instruction ❤ !

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.  Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of pieces of gold and silver coins!

May Your faithful love comfort me always, as You promised Your servant.

May Your compassion come to me, so that I may live, for Your instruction is the delight of my life!

Let the arrogant be put to shame for slandering me with lies; as for me… I will meditate on Your precepts ❤ .

May my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes so that I will never be put to shame. (Psalm 119:58-80)

Stephanie

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Rescue a Good Man from a Woman Like This

 
To my daughter, this is a topic that I find very important in determining your future, and understanding the value you will bring to your future husband.  Please read this man’s comment about his experience living with a woman who literally destroyed his life.
I want you to find and marry a good man.  I want you, like your Grandmother wanted me, to find a man like this, and rescue him from this fate of marrying someone who will treat him in this way.
Good men like him deserve so much more.  And I want you to understand how to truly value your husband, as well as how to spot women like this who purposefully go after them in order to control them.  And when they can’t control them, they betray them in the most painful little ways that add up overtime, making their marriages needlessly painful over the decades of life.
This is his story of how he was failed by a pastor in allowing his wife to successfully execute her plan to control their marriage (and if not control it, then end it).  But I want you to focus on the wife’s descriptions, as well as the pain this man went through due to her choices and actions in their marriage. 
I want you to realize how valuable you will be as a wife to a man like this – you can become a “crown” to him, “more valuable than rubies,” like the Bible says, rescuing him from a woman like this who passive aggressively harms him year in and year out.
***
SaltMark says:

 

I knew Doug Wilson personally, for many years. I love him as a brother in Christ, but I have not liked him for many years.

I met Doug in the early 1980 soon after I had become a christian in the military. Doug is an ex Navy man who served on subs during the cold war. He led a scruffy and well grounded bible church in Moscow, Idaho that met on Sundays in a auto-body shop. On Sundays I would help other men push out the cars and sweep the floors and set up chairs. I was drawn to Doug’s preaching from the Scripture. He with authority from the word, and was not pretentious. He was educated and articulate yet down to earth. In those years, most folks attended, including Doug and the elders, wearing jeans, flannel shirts, etc. There was good expository teaching in those days and good hymns sung. He and the elders were a real spiritual blessing to the little flock of 75 – 100 saints.

I regularly attended Doug’s Wednesday night bible studies held in his small home. I ate it up. He was very good at explaining scriptural principles. Again good expository teaching and good exegetics. I am forever grateful to Doug for his repeated admonishment to not read commentary, but read the Bible. When finished, read it again, then again, and again. I took it to heart like nothing I ever had. I read the scriptures, then again, and again.

I met a young woman at that fellowship whom I had known at Moscow High School. We discussed marriage and the scriptural roles of men, women, husbands and wives. She agreed with these truths, i.e. the husband/father is the head of the relationship/family, the wife/mother is to submit to him. We received pre-marital counseling from Doug. We had him marry us. We embarked on our life together as one flesh, through rich or poor, sickness or health, until death should part us…

Early on a situation developed in our marriage where her mother became terminally ill. My wife was in graduate school where she had, prior to our marriage, signed a contract to complete certain research. We met with Dough and his wife (his wife only as hostess and friend to my wife) to find an answer to the question of whether or not it was moral to nullify the contract so that my wife could attend to her dying, mute, paralyzed mother in her last months of life. Doug said no, my wife should continue in school, so that in the future, if I should die or become disabled she could earn better money. I politely disagreed and pointed out Numbers 30:13 stating that a husband may void her vow once the vow is brought to his attention, as it was with me at that time. I had done what Doug had taught – read the word, and again, read the word. Doug stood up and left the room leaving the two of us alone with his wife. We left and I voided my wife’s contract. She cared for her mother.

We attended Doug’s church while I finished my degree, but I became unhappy with what became more and more heavy handed teaching. Make no mistake, Doug is a very charismatic speaker, using many cute, witty expressions and anecdotes, through which he garners a large, enthusiastic following. But I tired of this because I saw it as pandering.

Not too long into our marriage it became clear that my wife was a dyed-in-the-wool feminist. She came out of the closet, so to speak, with regard to many a shocking thing which cannot be mentioned. She was extremely contentious and fought endlessly (ultimately for thirty years) to have authority in the relationship and home using all sorts of sneaky tactics as well as passive-aggressive maneuvers. I would not yield. I had no idea what blue-pill or red-pill was, but because I held to sola scriptura, which resulted in me being red-pill. I was not the perfect husband for father, but I was a good one. I read the entire scripture to my wife and children, all seven, and instructed them at home, one the road to Walmart, at every turn. But I was not respected. She secretly poisoned half my children against me. I sensed for a long time that she wanted a divorce, but despite the fact that being married to her was like being in a three-legged race with a corpse, I would nonetheless die honoring my vow to the Lord.

I never spoke to outsiders about my relationship with my wife, or our family life. There was no abuse. We home-schooled all our children. I earned a six-figure income as a software engineer. But there was this constant rebellion, war of authority between me and my wife.

I started hearing rumors fed back to me, about me, from all sorts of people, local and far away. Friends, family, church acquaintances, pastors, even people I never met had “dirt” on me. My wife had carefully carried out a smear campaign on me.

I was utterly despised by her. Unbeknownst to me, over all the years of our marriage she had been in regular email and phone contact with the Wilsons, Doug, his brother, Evan, their father, Jim, and their wives, where she reported falsehoods about me and played the tragedy queen. She wasn’t haaaaaaaaaaapy, and literally coveted my God given authority over her and the family. She worked hard over the years to undermine me and divide our family so that today our children are separated from me and one from another. She nuked us. I had a heart attack and open heart surgery two weeks before our divorce hearing. In court my lawyer exposed her hugely falsifying her financial statements. The judge chose to ignore her lies. I was divorce raped.

What stings is that the Wilsons and the larger Churcian Church allowed a tattle-tale wife to spread falsehoods about our relationship yet never once contacted me to discuss any of it. She got the green light to divorce based upon her tales alone. They taught and encouraged her in christo-feminism. I had on three occasions appealed to different pastors and elders over the years, but I rebuffed and blamed for her sinfulness. I was ignorant about the take-over of the church by the feminists and white-knights, like Doug. I truly expected that these Christian leaders were reading the scripture, like I was, and understanding what it teaches. I expected them to back me up against my wife, enforce church discipline if necessary. I was so naive. No one had my back. I was isolated and destroyed, physically, emotionally and financially. Those men, those Christian leaders could have prevented the destruction of me, my wife and our family, but I consider them culpable for its death.

I eventually became formally red-pill thanks to Rollo Tomassi, Dalrock, Vox Day, and others. Today I’m especially thankful to Dalrock for calling out Doug more than once on his harmful duplicity and unbiblical teachings. I am a very humble man in speech and word and could never challenge Doug myself. There is great need among the brothers that these bad leaders be skillfully, biblically rebuked.

Again, thank you Dalrock. It helps to heal my wounded heart to see you so righteously take them to task.

I pray that Doug, his brother Evan, and his Father Jim, my brothers in Christ, would repent.”

***

Let’s talk about his comment –

When I was a pre-teen, my mom frankly stated to me that I should try to “rescue” a good man (like the one in the comment) from a controlling, passive aggressive woman like the one who literally ruined his life.

The way she explained it was that good men like that are actually PREY to women who know they can take advantage of his kindness and possibly naivety. 

She told me stories about women who went after good men in order to teach me what they looked like.  They tended to fall into two categories: the sexy, seductive adulteress, and the Christian, “submissive” controller.

  1. The Seductive Adulteress – this type of woman is the forbidden woman warned about in Proverbs 7.  Potiphar’s wife is an excellent example of the way this woman acts and behaves with complete disregard to her husband’s feelings or dreams or aspirations for their life together.  She is set on ruining it, due to her lust of other men and desire for adultery.  Potiphar was a good man, too good for his scheming, treacherous wife, but I was taught that women like her go after men like Potiphar by design.  Good, upstanding men like him are purposefully picked so that she can abuse his good character and integrity, knowing he would never have the “guts” to divorce her or call her out on her behavior.  She is usually a reprobate, meaning it’s very unlikely a wife like this can be “reformed,” even by Church intervention, although I’m sure sometimes God can redeem them (Gomer and Hosea).
  2. The “Submissive” Controller – the description submissive is placed in quotes because while this woman appears to be extremely nice and sweet and submissive to the public eye, at home, nothing could be further from the truth.  This kind of woman usually has a character disorder where her entire being is ruled by games of passive aggression, her husband being her main opponent (and only real witness to all her behaviors).  These women are often quiet, good church girls.  They abide by the rules, they marry as virgins – which is so rare these days and makes them stand out.  They have internal problems with pride, but overcompensate by displaying false humility.  They are a walking dichotomy, often living a double life.  Out in the public they are kind and caring and good-natured, leading Bible studies and even teaching other women how to be good wives.  But at home they are nit-picky, “sneaky” as the commenter said, passive-aggressives who are controllers, and who cause their husbands and children immense pain longterm (although it’s a silent killer, the pain isn’t all felt at once).  They often cast themselves as the “victim” to their husband’s faults, and the feeling of being a perpetual martyr causes them to seek out the “help” of other people either personally or via emails to all kinds of people, or by slowly poisoning his children against him. 😦  She is also the kind who takes her husband to their pastor to get him to “correct” him (AMOG him), getting the church or elders involved if she doesn’t agree with his leadership.

So you can see, this man was likely married to the second kind of wife, which unfortunately for him, is the hardest for good men to avoid because she’s living a lie, and practically “tricked” him into marriage.  He will say sometimes when they are fighting that he doesn’t know who the “real” her is… is she really the sweet, kind, gentle submissive wife he married?  Or is she the nit-picky, betraying, passive aggressive character, who acts “bitchy” when she knows she’s home alone and not being watched?  Because even she often cannot see that she’s living a double life due to having this character disorder, she truly believes her actions are “normal” and that all women are this way.

Both kinds of women make for a very difficult, tumultuous marriage, although with the first, everyone but the husband seems to know she is horrible to him.  While with the second type of wife, nobody but the husband tends to know how terrible she really is to him at home, as her double life is seamless and she keeps them both separate.

I’ve come across women like the “submissive” controllers that the commenter’s wife falls into; they have emailed me complaining about their husband’s bad habits or their mistreatment of them..  They would never come right out and attack their men in public, because that’s too openly aggressive, it’s more in small, personally betraying ways that only he feels the sting of, while no one else understands what’s really going on.

Like posting photos of his used condoms on the floor (yes, that’s the above pic, from here).  I spoke with this blogger privately via email about the way this photo came across, and her response was that her husband was completely fine with her post, he just felt worried someone may notice the used condom(s) on the floor. 

If anything embarrasses your husband, it’s probably a good idea to admit it was a dumb move and just take it down, but women like this don’t seem to be able to have empathy for their men’s feelings about her revealing things that should probably be kept private.  If he was posting pictures on his public social media sites that caught some of her used tampons on the floor, and then refused to take it down (because… the blog must go on), then possibly they’d be able to see the damage it does to their husbands’ reputations and ability to safely rest in their trust them overtime.

“I started hearing rumors fed back to me, about me, from all sorts of people, local and far away. Friends, family, church acquaintances, pastors, even people I never met had “dirt” on me. My wife had carefully carried out a smear campaign on me.”

I also find it really interesting that so many of this second type of wife (that I’ve come across at least) are often married to software engineers oddly.  It’s very strange to me that it’s a reoccurring theme in multiple ones I’ve seen, this man being just the latest one.  Not all… one I knew growing up in real life was married to a Pilot.  She let herself go physically and cut her hair in a super short haircut (that he didn’t find attractive,) and he ended up falling in love with another woman who was more feminine around year 20 of their marriage.  Does her lack of care excuse his affair?  Definitely no. But I think being passive-aggressively attacked over decades probably does not make it easier for him to stay faithful to that kind of contentious woman, especially when he’s around younger, more attractive stewardesses all the time who defer to him and truly admire him and respect him (and would never dare criticize him).

It’s typical that the Seductive Adulteress keeps her beauty and physique in shape for other men, and not for her husband, while the Christian Submissive Controllers often let themselves go after marriage, which is a passive aggressive move against their husbands because men typically want their wives to try to stay attractive to them.  Or they cut their hair super short, when they know their husbands’ would really prefer that they took the time to maintain long locks that look more feminine (again, a passive aggressive move against him).  Not all who use passive aggressive manipulation techniques fit into this “type,” or even the seductress “type,” but there does seem to be stereotypes here that ring true.

Since growing up being forewarned about women like this, and how they target men with good character, I do believe it may be partly because they find that this particular kind of man (the kind who would be more likely to become a software engineer? I don’t know) is more easy to control.  If they sized him up when they were dating and decided he was a “weaker” type of “beta” male who would be more susceptible to passive aggressive attacks?  I don’t know.  I do know I’ve seen these women admit that they grew up with very “dominating,” “harsh” or “controlling” patriarchal fathers, and that they wanted to marry someone who was the “opposite” of their dads so that they could avoid the “oppression” they felt like their own mothers went through.  So it seems there is a link between them purposefully picking someone they viewed from the get-go, as a weaker leader-type male, so that she could avoid being controlled by him like her mother was (in her mind), and have more success in passive aggressive attacks against him.

It’s also important to note that the man writing this comment felt as though half his children had been secretly poisoned against himThis is the effect of a passive aggressive mother.  That’s what it’s designed to do.  When someone is passive aggressively attacking her husband, she’s also usually doing and saying little things trying to get the kids on “her side,” to view her as the victim having to put up with his ways or leadership.  Chances are she learned this from her own mother, who played the part of a “victim” or “martyr” to her husband’s “dominating” leadership in their marriage.  In other words, her mother was also likely a passive-aggressive, who bucked her husband’s leadership in a myriad of little ways that chipped his armor overtime, and put him always on the defensive (and therefore coming across as too harsh at times or “dominating”).  I’ve seen that in real life, and it’s very sad even to watch it online with a woman whose exposed her “game,” because you know it’s happening behind the scenes.  No matter how perfect their family pictures may seem, only that man and his kids know how “bitchy” she’s actually being in their private times together.  “Everything hidden will come to light,” the Bible says, and her children’s testimony of how she treated their dad, or his testimony when he finds out later on that they were “poisoned” against him, or when he finds out that people around the world know his failings and shortcomings because she’s been emailing anyone with a listening ear for years playing the victim in their marriage, is when that comes to light.

So… hopefully I’ve written enough now to convince you that good men don’t deserve wives like this, however, because of their character and natures, they often get targeted by women who seek to control them, or even abuse them.  You have to snatch one up quick, before she gets her hooks into him with her faux submission, or sex.  Because once they’re married, he’s really really stuck, and all you can do after that is pray for them, and watch how she humiliates him on her social media sites (pictures of his used condoms!!!).

Hopefully you’ll take your Grandmother’s advice, Sweet Girl, and you’ll literally rescue a good man from being the prey of this kind of woman who seems to purposefully pick him, and then ruin his life or betray him repeatedly in a million little painful ways that add up over time.

Believe me, the rewards for having the heart of a man like this, and truly treasuring him – never betraying him or passive-aggressively harming him, are SO immense it’s hard to describe!  Your father is such a man, a man of such fine outstanding character, my diamond in the rough, and you can see clearly the way he loves me and cherishes me.

When you marry a good man, and treat him like a king, he will repay that love 10-fold and with more loyalty and devotion than you could ever imagine!  And as he gets older, men like this with good character get wiser and better at recognizing how you are different from the wives who act like these 2 stereotypes, and he becomes more openly grateful that you’re different – which is a nice blessing in itself to be acknowledged by your husband for your efforts in being a good wife to him.  You start to experience Proverbs 31:28-29 where your children rise up and call you “Blessed,” 🙂  and your husband actually tells you,

“Many wives have done excellently, but you surpass them all!”

You will become that wife, Little One, if you are good, kind, and respectful to him, always being careful to never give in to passive-aggressive manipulations because that will become part of your character and be very hard to extricate.  You will never post pictures of his used condoms and post them publicly, because you’ll be raised knowing (and seeing) this example.  You will honor him and guard his reputation so that he can safely trust in you (Proverbs 31:11 “The heart of her husband safely trusts in her...”).

So may you rescue a man like that, so that his goodness won’t be taken advantage of, and so that he won’t have to suffer through life with a woman he can never fully trust, and therefore never truly and deeply, even love.

Stephanie

 

Bible Verses for Spring!

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This little guy – every Spring – he builds a little nest inside the edge of our house where it opens somewhat to the attic with his mate.  And then he sits in this tree, always in the same spot for years now, and chirps and chirps and chirps to his little hearts’ content!

I saw him again for the first time in months and ran back inside to grab my camera and take this shot.  I adore him, and I talk to him (and probably look like a crazy lady LOL) and he stops his incessant chirping to look down and cock his head at me (likely wondering why this crazy woman tries to talk to him) and we have a moment 😀 .

He’s just so handsome!  Look at his perfectly designed, defiant and proud little bird-face!  He may be small and fluffy, but he is stout at heart I assure you!

Anyway… we always seem to have the same birds each year, at least, I think they may be the same ones.  There’s the sparrow family who produce babies under the edge of our roof, always in the same spot, there’s the red bird (cardinal) and his mate, who two years ago I caught a shot of them “kissing” as they fed each other from our makeshift feeders.

However this year I discovered a new little one when I was out early gardening.  It’s a male mocking bird – and oh what a songbird he is!

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Springtime. ❤  Here are some verses I found that stood out to me recently when savoring this season:

“The heavens declare the GLORY of God, and the skies above proclaim the work of His hands!”

Psalm 19:1

***

 

For behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.”

Song of Solomon 2:11-13

***

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.”

James 5:7

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It always fascinates me how the cycle of the new life occurs and grows so suddenly from what seems like deadness or barrenness around it.  Each year I remember the music from The Secret Garden (1993), when everything is coming alive again, and baby animals are being born.  It’s just so beautiful.

I grew up in the country, on land that was wild and breathtakingly beautiful to my childlike eyes.  I used to pretend I was inside my own secret garden 🙂 it was heavenly.

This is the song I hear in my head every Spring, though.  I’d love for you readers to listen to it.

It still gets me every year… the intricate beauty and joy of those notes!

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Stephanie

Raising Masculine Sons

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We just had possibly the best first day of Spring Break we’ve ever had as a family yesterday!  😀

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The beauty of spring is in full swing now here in Texas, and having our oldest home this week is exciting to me as I think of all the things we’ll be able to go and do!  But… staying in our own backyard is truly such a wonderful feeling of peaceful satisfaction.

And yesterday, that’s just what we did 😀

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In the early morning, I was able to do some gardening before it got to 90 degrees (yes!  In MARCH!!! :D).  And while I was digging and planting, my husband was teaching the boys some woodwork skills.

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Yes, that’s a 3 year old using a handsaw!!!!  My husband loves using opportunities like that to teach them, and I’m so grateful… because you know I’d NEVER use a handsaw unless my life depended on it LOL!  Much less be able to actually teach our sons those skills 🙂

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The reason why I don’t do any posts on “Things I Want My Sons to Know” is because although I have a lot of influence over them in understanding femininity, I can’t teach them how to be men.  I could never “raise masculine boys” without the constant help and wisdom of my husband.

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It’s been beautiful to watch his relationship with our older son, the way he’s diligently taught him throughout the years and given him a sense of confidence in his little masculine self ❤ !!

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Reflecting on these pictures this morning, I realized how far we’ve come from that first year with our dal.  Back in 2015 when we first got him and our oldest was only 5, he had a very hard time being confident and dominant enough in his personality that the dog refused to submit to him at all!  I wrote in detail back then here, how my husband’s guidance and fatherly instructions is what was raising our son to be far more masculine than I could ever manage on my own.  

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Here’s an excerpt from 3 years ago:

My husband takes control

My husband then came into the kitchen, I explained our walk and situation… he immediately took over control and began explaining to our son frame control, and having firm authority in establishing respect with the dog.

He took over and disciplined our son for acting fearful by making him stay with puppy, even forcing him to go outside with it. My husband stayed outside with our son, explaining to him what he needed to do in order to control his fear with the dog and show dominance.

It was so incredibly reassuring and relieving to feel the weight of control and discipline shift from my mommy-role shoulders, onto my capable husband’s.  A father’s unique masculinity and fortitude are so desperately needed as parenting is a million times easier with his strength and presence taking over to instruct or demonstrate.  I watched as he stayed outside a little longer with our son and the dog, teaching how to demonstrate dominant assertiveness, so thankful for his aptitude as a father and husband.  He then came inside saying that he wanted him to play with the dog outside alone for awhile.

Our son played for a good 15 minutes with the puppy, and then ran excitedly to the door and told us that he and his dog were having lots of fun together playing.  This was a dramatic difference from when he’d be outside alone with the dog before my husband had time to teach him confidence and authority.  Before, when he’d be outside letting the dog go potty, he would immediately run to the nearest chair or higher surface in order to escape any potential play-biting or jumping of the puppy.  Him being confident with the puppy and playing with him outside for a steady 15 minutes was a breakthrough!

When it was time to eat lunch, he came back inside and my husband had our son watch a few short videos of the Dog Whisperer explaining masculine dominance and calm authority in different scenarios with difficult dogs.  It led into an interesting discussion the two of them had where my husband explained leadership, and asked our son who is in charge of our family.  Our son undoubtedly answered that it was him.  And my husband asked him why he thought that was?  “Because you’re in charge.”  My husband then explained what it meant to “be in charge,” what that looked like in different situations or even environments with different kinds of people.  He explained why our son could sense that his father was in charge of our family….

My husband explained how even without violence or force you can establish yourself as a leader in any given situation.  He described how he is assertive in our family – he simply employs a feeling of authority in his manner, body language, and voice.  He used the example of how he has managed to show our extremely stubborn and at times rebellious cats, who’s in charge.  They obey him simply by his commanding voice – and its no small feat to get a cat to listen to you and obey you.  He doesn’t use violence or brute force, however, his voice alone has the strength and authority that makes them feel like they have to obey.  (From here)

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Now it’s so different!  They can go outside and run and play soccer (our dalmatian is WICKED GOOD at playing soccer, which is funny, because he looks like a soccer ball himself!).  They are becoming admirable little men because of my husband’s leadership in guiding them in that way.

Enjoy your Spring fellow bloggers and readers!  I am SO EXCITED about the sunlight, gardening, and playing in the sand and with our athletic dal!

I hope y’all have a wonderful Spring Break as well 🙂

Stephanie

 

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: You Will Grow into Your Feminine Beauty

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I am a major book worm.  In case you haven’t noticed that I’ve NEVER changed the cover of this blog in nearly 5 years!  Because books are life!  There is so much knowledge and wisdom and beauty to be found in other people’s thoughts, that I can never get enough of reading it seems.  I had a few favorite books growing up – but Jane Eyre is hands-down one of the most memorable ones, and one that I STILL cannot get enough of!  I loved Jane Eyre because I was (what I thought of anyway) an ugly-duckingly, and she gave me hope LOL!  Growing into my femininity and beauty has been a long journey for me, and one that I hope I’ll be able to help my daughter navigate well in the future.

We were out yesterday selling some clothes for extra cash and I found a little historic novel based on a true story about a young nurse, only 16 years old (!), who tended injured men during the Civil War.  She became known and loved among the men she tended to for her gentleness and kindness to them ❤ .  Many other girls who volunteered to help had actually run away once the war came to their area, but this one girl stayed and became remembered for her character.

I had planned to buy some earrings I found for a good deal to build up our daughter’s stock, but I put them back and decided to get them next time in lieu of this awesome book!  I told my husband, “it’s for her future ❤ 😀 !!!”  I want our daughter to understand that character is what makes a woman truly beautiful.  Outward beauty shows self-respect or graciousness to those around you, but who you are as a person is what people will fall in love with and want to be around.

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She is such a little beauty already – almost strikingly so, and her happiness and joyful laughter are SO endearing!  But I want to raise her to love good books!  I want her to enjoy knowledge, and to know and understand that true beauty comes from very deep within – from the soul of a person, and that it takes time to grow and flourish… and that it can be lost if not safe-guarded against bitterness throughout life.

And I want her to know that it’s a process of becoming.

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It doesn’t usually happen all at once – being truly beautiful inside and out – for most women.  In fact, I’m not sure “most” women achieve both inner and outer beauty to their fullest personal extent, at all sadly.

Just like outer beauty takes A LOT of hard work and diligence over time to achieve and then to also maintain.  Inner beauty takes even more work, discipline, diligence, perseverance and even then if you manage to achieve it, it is MUCH harder to keep over the course of different circumstances one will face in life.  It’s a constant process of correcting your own character flaws, and that takes a TON of self-reflection, introspection, and acknowledgement of your own failings.

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Hence why I think a lot of women (and men if you’re thinking about men in that way) don’t even try to maintain inner beauty, or they may try but then give up or give in to their natural states of ugliness… since human beings all have sin natures… and our sin natures make us VERY very ugly.  That and we constantly fail.  Success in this regard requires a lot of perseverance and endurance.

So becoming a beautiful woman over time is very hard.  The inner beauty work is very difficult, and since I’m Christian, I do believe there’s a spiritual aspect to this where knowing God, having his help to get through life’s difficulties, really TRUSTING Him with EVERYTHING in your life (all those ugly emotions feelings and such), is the best or most proven way to maintain a beautiful character throughout life.

Avoiding all the vices that come so naturally to us, and working hard to develop the virtues that come from the Holy Spirit – that takes constant coming back to God to prune and develop you – to grow you and break you.  It’s painful work – which is probably why so many avoid it!  He’s molding you into a reflection of Christ, but again, that all takes a lifetime to achieve, and one has to be really working out their salvation with fear and trembling in order to achieve it at all!

But sweet, sweet, joyful little girl, you will grow into your beauty and femininity, and your daddy and I will be there every step of the way to guide you in the way you should go.

Stephanie

 

 

Always Have Great Sex!!

Hi Dr. Laura!

My husband is easy. He’s pretty much in the mood all the time. Whenever, wherever… we have sex at least once a day, sometimes two or three (and we’re in our 40’s). But because women are different, I found that it’s good to always stay “prepared”…

One way is, I NEVER go to bed with clothes on. The second is that I have a few things I rotate inside of my head about my husband throughout the day. Things I love about him, things that attracted me to him in the first place. I focus fully on one or two things and before I know it, I’m ready to go. And yes, even with a headache.

My mother taught me to never say no to my husband, but I realize that there is a difference between just being a willing participant and being right there in the moment with him. It’s my very favorite part of the life we share, and I think it’s his, too.

Julie

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I’ve talked on the blog before a few times, about how I listened to Dr. Laura on the radio fairly often when I was a little girl.  My mom always had her on (when she was on air), and wow was it insightful LOL!  The female callers complaining about their husbands were always the worst and most annoying people to behold.  They’d complain about their husband’S normal male-habits, or negative things like having a porn addiction, or that he didn’t clean the house the way she wished he would, or that he had no motivation to move up in his career or make more money, and on and on the complaints were.

She’d speak very harshly to them, although I enjoyed hearing her tell them those things, I always thought to myself that being that harsh with the women was not something I’d want to do.  But perhaps I was wrong… ?  Maybe those types of women truly do need a smack to the head or to be treated as harshly as they’re more than likely treating their husbands.  A lot of the stuff I heard that the men were going through (when the men would call in) sounded like emotional and psychological torture or abuse!  So maybe I was wrong to think they didn’t need some very harsh “slamming” of their own behaviors, perhaps that’s the only way to help them gain humility – by giving them a mirror to see themselves the way other people see them.

And how many women that were like that, were Christian women going to church?  You would think Christian women would set the bar high for being kind and gentle and extremely respectful of their husband and his “flaws,” guarding him and protecting him from strangers’ misjudgment.  I could always tell, even as a young girl, that these women were very sure they were “right” and “good” even though it was pretty obvious they were gossiping and slandering their husbands to strangers on the radio.

The good callers were the ones who were humble, and who listened to Dr. Laura’s advice and allowed her to call them out if what they were doing was wrong.  Like the woman who penned this letter above ❤  She’s taken Dr. Laura’s advice to have LOTS of sex with her husband, and to not only do it because of duty, but to do it enthusiastically and with a good heart towards him!

It’s my very favorite part of the life we share, and I think it’s his, too.”

Yes!  I’ve told my man this many times 😀

Let’s look at her tips for having a better sex life:

  • NEVER go to bed with clothes on (lol… yea that does work!)
  • Focus on good things about your husband throughout the day – things you like about him as a man, and things that made you attracted to him in the first place
  • Don’t just have sex  more, have MORE FUN SEX.  Don’t just give him “duty sex” (bleh) but actually enjoy giving him sex

I actually think there are different “kinds” of sex (no I’m not talking about sex positions – Eek!).  I mean there can be different motivations for having sex.  One of my favorite motivations to give my husband sex is being thankful for him and for everything he does for us as a family.

I call it “Gratitude Sex!”

It’s when you’re so thankful that your husband provides for you, is such a good father to your kids, and is so good in a myriad of little ways, that you just want to knock his socks off with really good (grateful) sex!

I think husbands are often taken for granted.  They’re expected to work hard and expected to do the dirty jobs around the house… but do we as wives really thank them enough?

Is it so bad to thank them with our bodies?

In my experience, it’s more than good 😀

Stephanie

Sarah – She Did What Was Good & Did Not Give Way to Fear

I’m starting a new blog page where I will file posts on biblical women.  It should be fun and fascinating to delve into their different lives and really dig deep for what we can learn from them as women who love God.

They will be a little controversial though.  My short Abigail series took some readers by surprise, and revealed her story through a perspective that isn’t usually taken in our modern day.  Here’s a hint: Everyone likes to say she was the perfect example of the UN-submissive wife to a foolish husband, but I found God leading me to the exact opposite conclusion!  I encourage you to read it if you haven’t had a good look at why the way she treated her foolish husband Nabal made her stand out with respect and honor.  It may not be what you expect.

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I’ve been thinking though, recently, about Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  God seems to have put her on my heart for a few months now, and I’ve been quietly studying her words, reactions, as well as what other people had to say about her across the Bible.

I didn’t know it, but she is actually the most mentioned woman character in the Bible – even more so than Mary, the mother of Jesus!

I had no idea she was so important.  And it’s been odd how often she has come to my mind in these past few months, along with parts of her story, and always her actions or reactions.  It’s been weird I’ll say that much.

What makes her so interesting to me?

It’s the way she obeyed her husband without fear,

and is honored repeatedly for it in God’s Word.

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It’s taken me a long time to see her through this lens.  When I was a child growing up in a Christian school, we learned about the biblical men and women all the time.  I mostly viewed Sarah as the woman who dared to laugh at God and was shocked by her nerve.  I didn’t like, or relate, in any way to her attitude.  I understand her circumstances more now, and can see how human she was when hearing the response of her pregnancy in such old age.  To me she finds redemption in being mentioned in the New Testament as the model of the kind of woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes.  But again, it took me a long time to understand what all that meant.

Let’s look at the passage of Scripture I’m referring to specifically:

“Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes – but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.

For in the same way the holy women who hoped in God long ago adorned themselves by being subject to their husbands, like Sarah who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.

You become her children when you do what is good and have no fear in doing so.” 1 PETER 3:3-6

I’m going to take this apart in the same way I did for the Proverbs 31 woman piece by piece (but for length’s sake – not delving into the Greek meaning of each word this time).  Here we go!

What kind of beauty is “precious in God’s sight?”

  • The beauty found in a woman’s heart – her character and inner beauty
  • The lasting beauty of a gentle and peaceful spirit
  • Beautifying (adorning) yourself by being submissive to your husband, like the holy women of old, like Sarah who obeyed her husband and called him lord
  • When you submit (subject) yourself to your husband, and have no fear in trusting him (doing so), you achieve the beauty this passage is talking about

How amazing that this passage is directing us to be like Sarah, not only in the way of disregarding showy outward beauty, but also focusing on the character and actions we are to develop if we want to have a lasting beauty that is “precious in God’s sight.”

And the key to achieving this kind of lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet (peaceful) spirit, is to fully submit to obeying our husbands, and to respect and revere them.  Like Sarah did when she called her husband “lord,” we are directed to imitate her behavior, and “become her children” when we live these things out in our day to day lives.

This is all well and good, right?  But have you looked at Sarah’s life with Abraham?  Have you studied enough to understand what this passage in 1 Peter is implying?  When it says that she obeyed him, doing what was good (submitting to him), and without fear, that is no light and ordinary statement.

This woman obeyed her husband during some of the toughest circumstances imaginable. 

And with a good attitude.

And without fear.

Her love, faith, and trust in her husband and in God are so beautiful when we closely study her story.  She has inspired me by her faith SO MUCH in the past months, constantly popping into my head at the strangest times, that I had to write this down here, hoping that it would bring joy and inspiration to someone else. ❤ 🙂

In our modern age where Christian wives seem to be constantly looking for flaws in their husbands’ leadership style so that they don’t have to submit to him (and obey him), Sarah’s story is a huge wake-up call as to how we’re really supposed to be responding.

How God expects us to respond.

I can hear the screeching of the wheels on the pavement now…

But Sarah obeyed when it was not convenient!

Yes, she definitely did.  Many times!  This woman had so much trust in her husband and in God, that yes, she willingly obeyed even when it was not just annoying, but even when it was extremely difficult.

Just the other day I was spending time with God early in the morning before anyone else in the house was awake, and suddenly a map from the back of my Bible fell out and onto the floor in front of my foot.  I expected it to just be another journey showing the different routes Paul took on his mission trips, since those are pretty much the only maps I’ve seriously studied.  But when I looked closely at it in the dim morning light, I saw it was actually Abraham’s travels when God called him and Sarai to leave Ur!  I had never really appreciated how far they had to travel, and keep in mind they had no idea where God was wanting them to end up.  It hit me again (like it has for months now) just how amazing her trust and faith in her husband and in God were – to follow her husband like that.  Away from everything she had ever known, and over such a difficult journey, through dangerous foreign lands, and not even knowing where she would end up with him in the end.  Talk about trust and faith producing a beautiful obedience in the heart of a wife toward her husband!

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This is a picture of the page of my Bible that fell out when I was doing my morning talking to God and reading His Word.  When I look at this journey, I immediately think about how ridiculously hard that would have been for a woman to travel back then, in that kind of desert and arid weather, with their shoes, and just the plain, overall discomfort she’d have and the temptation to complain or whine or ask “Are we there yet?!”  Honestly, it makes our long family trips to New Mexico from south Texas seem like a breeze in our air-conditioned and roomy van!

As Christian wives, have we behaved as well as Sarah did when she followed Abraham on a truly difficult journey, not even knowing where they were going?  How many times have we whined about little inconveniences, wanting the easy way out?

Maybe our husbands need us to get up early and help with making lunches and getting breakfast on the table before the kids leave to school or before he has to go to work.  I know in our family, it’s my job to make it as easy as possible for my husband to spend critical time with our older son in the morning, since he works most evenings.  Even if the baby wakes up several times in the night, I still want to make sure it doesn’t affect their time together – it’s the only time during the day (most days at least) when my husband does a devotion with our son and leads him into understanding the deep meanings of Scripture.  He gives him advice, listens to his problems or concerns, and it’s a truly beautiful time that would not be possible if he was having to do all the work I usually handle for them in the morning as far as getting everything ready for them to leave.   The way I see it is that I can either have a bad attitude or demand I get my own sleep (a convenience for sure, but not necessary since I can nap later on in the day), or I can serve them with a happy heart and be grateful that he’s spending this time investing godly principles into our son’s heart.   I choose to be grateful!

You can apply this to anything your husband may want you to do, but doesn’t line up with your idea of easy or convenient for yourself.  Maybe he wants you to make good, healthy meals for the family, but you’re stuck on fast food on the go, or cafeteria food so you don’t have to wash the dishes?  Maybe he’d like you to make and pack him lunches everyday, but you don’t want to spend the time serving him like that because it cuts into your time in the morning for yourself to eat?

If our husbands need us to do something that is hard or difficult, do we carry an attitude of resentment toward our task or him for asking more of us?  Maybe your husband wants you to stay home to raise your young children, even though it means living on a lesser budget that makes life more difficult.  Are you doing it with the attitude described in 1 Peter 3?  Or perhaps he wants you to work and put your young children in a daycare – something that’s heartbreaking and hard for a mother to do?  Are you trusting him and God that He will provide safety and protection over them and ultimately redeem the situation in the end?  I know this sounds a lot easier than it actually is when carrying these things out, but it was never promised that living this Christian life would be easy or convenient by any means.  Our true test of our faith in God is when we do these things, and do them not out of just a sense of duty, but with a glad and happy heart!

Obviously the best response is to do what is needed, and practice more gratitude if we’re tempted to resentment over having to endure inconveniences that come with following.

I know this sounds hard, it’s probably unlike anything you’ve ever read before when it comes to marriage and how we’re supposed to act in regard to our husbands leading us.  But the Bible talks constantly about the value of doing the difficult tasks needed to be done.  And whatever we do, we are to do it as though we are doing it for God.  When we act like Sarah and “do what is good,” and “without fear,” we are honoring God with our choice to obey our husbands, even when it is inconvenient to do so.

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But Sarah obeyed even when Abraham was making poor choices!

This is a hard one for Christian wives in this day and age.  If her husband is doing ANYTHING even the tiniest bit “wrong” in her eyes, his wife is usually quick to point it out to him and try to get him to be better in his leadership.

I’m sure we’ve all seen examples of this.  It’s common now to know or see Christian wives who refuse to fully submit to their husbands until his porn addiction is gone.  Or maybe it’s his bad eating habits that bother her that she tries to change.  Or his love of watching sports on Sundays, when she thinks he should be helping her fold the laundry.  Or his decision not to do family devotions or spend time reading God’s Word in the way she’d like to see.  There are so many things that wives want their husbands to be doing or not doing before they’ll even think of obeying and submitting to his leadership.

But that’s not the way God intended marriage to work.

A wife can’t demand her husband be perfect in her eyes and do everything the way she desires it to be before she’s supposed to actually submit to his leadership for their family!

If she’s demanding that he change, nagging him to go to counseling to fix his issues, or trying to get him to change in any way, she’s the one who is doing the leading in the marriage – and expecting him to submit to her wants, desires, and needs.

Even if a husband is leading in an imperfect way, we as wives are still called to obey.  His leadership is not contingent only on leading perfectly, and never making mistakes or bad choices.  Like Sarah, we become “her daughters” when we submit to our husbands’ leadership.

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But Sarah obeyed even when Abraham led her (and other people) into sin and deception!

Yes, she did.  Again, it speaks to her faith and trust in her husband and in God that she was able to follow Abraham even when it was not the right thing for either of them to do.  The Bible is still clear that she did what was good by obeying him and subjecting herself to his leadership.

Let’s take a look at the scriptures where these incidents occurred:

10Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.

17But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai.18So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

And then it happened a couple of decades later, almost exactly the same as the first time.  Abraham’s faith was still not complete in this area, but did Sarah nag him?  Did she resent him for not having more faith to not place her in another ruler’s harem (again)?

20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident in Gerar, 2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her. 3 But God appeared to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 5 Did Abraham not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience and with innocent hands!” 6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. That is why I have kept you from sinning against me and why I did not allow you to touch her. 7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed he is a prophet and he will pray for you; thus you will live. But if you don’t give her back, know that you will surely die along with all who belong to you.”

8 Early in the morning Abimelech summoned all his servants. When he told them about all these things, they were terrified. 9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done!” 10 Then Abimelech asked Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 What’s more, she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 13 When God made me wander from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’” 14 So Abimelech gave sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver to your ‘brother.’ This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 18 For the Lord had caused infertility to strike every woman in the household of Abimelech because he took Sarah, Abraham’s wife. ©NET
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It’s hard to believe her amazing attitude in all of this!  Her husband expected her to show her loyalty to him by misleading (lying by omission that she really was his wife and not just his half-sister) other people!  Again, how does this compare to how we respond to our husbands’ failings or moments when he may have a lack of faith?  Do we keep our faith in him even when we see his doubts and fears, or do we demand he be better for us and lead us more to our liking?

The biblical response is to have faith in him and in our all-powerful God.  That even if our husbands make a mistake, or have their doubts, that ultimately God is still in control, and that we are safe in the palm of His hand.

Sometimes it is important to stop a man from sinning, like Abigail did, by using her gracious character and inner beauty to calm a King’s rage and murderous intent.  You can read my thoughts on Abigail’s beautiful actions here (PART 1), and here (PART 2).

But Sarah’s silence in these situations was wise and showed her heroic faith!  It wasn’t silence out of timidity or sinful “giving way to fear.”  The Bible is clear that she did not give way to fear, in fact the attitude she displayed “that of a peaceful and tranquil spirit,” is translated to controlled strength and tranquility that arises from deep within.  That kind of control, feminine strength of character, and peace in times of trouble, can only come from God and having a rock solid trust in Him.

When studying the context around these passages, I found that historically when a ruler saw a stranger’s wife that was beautiful and desirable, he was free to kill the stranger in order to take the woman for himself.  However, if she was traveling with a family member (kin) like a brother or a father, then the ruler would simply negotiate a price for taking her as his bride (or concubine), and the male family member would be spared (maybe even given a prestigious place in their society).

So Sarah and Abraham found themselves in life and death situations when they were traveling as a couple in these foreign lands.

Now stop and think about this for a minute.  Can you IMAGINE how a modern day Christian wife would handle something like that?!?!  Let’s go through some mental contrasting how wives in our age would respond to that scenario, compared with how Sarah responded and then is praised afterward for doing the right thing:

  • Modern day wives would give way to fear.  They’d panic when seeing their husband was making decisions that looked questionable, or if he was lying to ruler’s about who she really was.
  • Modern day wives would be upset that he “demand” or expect her loyalty to him to be shown in this way.
  • Modern day wives would be mad at their husbands for not “protecting” them from the ruler’s lust and desire to have sex with her because of her beauty.
  • They’d be upset that their husband didn’t stand up to the ruler and engage in a (likely deadly) fight, sacrificing his life for her honor!
  • They’d be livid that he allowed her to be placed in another man’s harem.
  • Or they’d take advantage of having the opportunity to have sex with a powerful ruler!  How many times have we heard wives admit on the radio that they’d cheat with a famous man if they had the chance?
  • Or they’d make it through like Sarah did, in one piece, but still hold on to the anger and resentment of being degraded like that.  When they got back to their Christian groups, they’d throw their husbands under a bus by complaining to other wives just what their husbands tried to do to them when they were on a trip!
  • Or MUCH WORSE in my opinion, they’d drag him to the leaders in their church to get them to “counsel” him (effectively AMOGing him or criticizing his leadership as “poor” and “ill-effective”) until he felt he had to follow her ideas and designs for their marriage.

We may be Christian wives trying to do the right thing, but we still have a sinful nature that leads us astray and into not honoring or submitting to our husbands if we aren’t careful to study these ancient texts and learn how to act in the ways God desires for us.  We want to display that kind of beauty that is so precious in God’s sight, right?  Then that means we have to take Sarah’s examples here, when she submitted to her husband’s leadership, seriously.

Go back over the bullet point list of ways modern wives would react to the situation Sarah found herself in.  Have you reacted in one of those ways in the past?  It’s never too late to repent and humble yourself, and to start honoring your husband.  Sarah doesn’t do ANY of those things!  She doesn’t even seem to hold on to any resentment, and the Bible is usually quick to point out when a man or woman has misgivings or ill-feelings.  If she was holding on to resentment or using his mistakes to hold over him later on, she wouldn’t be held up as the example we’re supposed to model in Peter 3.

No, it seems her actions are in line with how 1 Peter 3 describes her character as having inner beauty of the heart.  She loved him, she didn’t want him to die.  So she submitted to his plan to lie to the rulers of the land, and even be taken into their harems, so that she could keep her husband alive and trusted that God would make everything right.

Let’s look again at her qualities that made her character precious in God’s sight:

  • She had a peaceful and quite spirit – not a panicky, or nagging, or complaining, or bitter, or resentful spirit
  • She is called precious in God’s sight for obeying Abraham and for subjecting herself to him and his leadership.
  • She is honored for calling him “lord,” even though he subjected her to doing something that was wrong and deceptive and leading others into sin.

It cannot be understated that Sarah was honored for obeying Abraham – and not giving way to fear when she did – even though his leadership was less than perfect (1 Peter 3:5-6).

She not only was honored in the passage we have unpacked here, she is the first woman mentioned in the wonderful chapter that outlines all the “Heroes of Faith,” Hebrews chapter 11.  When I was 11 years old, our school had us memorize this entire chapter.  It was so beautiful to recite and memorize each person mentioned and honored for their courageous faith displayed in critical times of their life.  Their examples were glorified forever in God’s Holy Word because they decided to make the right choiceTo have faith even when it was extremely hard or inconvenient.  

Again, this is not something we as Christian wives can just gloss over and forget about.  Sarah, with all the mistakes or poor choices Abraham may have made in leading her, is named among the Heroes of Faith for choosing to obey him, follow him when it was hard, not complain or hold resentment against him, and even follow him into circumstances that caused others to sin!

Her heroic faith coupled with her beautiful character in choosing to obey Abraham, is an amazing testimony to her trust in God, that His will would prevail in those circumstances, and that she would be taken care of.

May we have faith like this, and seek to honor and respect our husbands with the kind of fierce commitment and obedience that Sarah had toward Abraham.

Stephanie

 

RELATED READING –

Sarah: A Woman Like Us

Sigma Frame’s Pygmalion Project vs Shared Enterprises

That Stepford Gal’s post Women Should Be Seen & Not Heard (using your beauty to influence and save people or entire countries!)

Why Marriage Groups Can Turn into “Let’s Rag on My Husband’s Flaws Publicly”

When writing the Proverbs 31 woman study series and book, I was blown away by how wonderful and inspiring this ancient archetype’s love for her husband is described.  Each tiny verse gave way to pages and pages of studying all over the Bible – we found verses that coincided with the words and meanings to give us a much richer, deeper view of the tapestry of her life and actions.  I’ve honestly never studied something so fascinating and relatable to my life right now, what I’m trying to be and do for our family.  The women who were studying along with it who gave me valuable feedback experienced those same feelings as well.

Again… it is mind-blowing how deep this tiny passage of scriptures goes when it comes to how women (Christian women) should be loving our husbands.  It is so clear that this model is what we’re supposed to be living up to, even though I believe it takes time and maturity, as well as maintaining a close relationship with God so that the power of the Holy Spirit directs you in the way you should go.

But make no mistake, there is a reason why the Bible describes this kind of wife as a rare treasure.  It’s just not common at all to develop your wifely-ness (is that a word?) to that degree!  And when you try, you’re labeled a hypocrite, Pharisee for holding other women up to a standard people will say YOU can’t keep, a “shill,” and be extremely harshly criticized for even daring to talk about a woman’s journey to be more virtuous.

The harsh criticism doesn’t matter, ultimately you will be creating a marriage that is heavenly in experience, and achieving a degree of excellence in how you love your husband that affects people in real life. ❤  In fact, one of the best chapters that dove into truly explaining the depth of your heart toward your husband, in all things, was chapter 4, “His Wife is Overflowing with Goodness.”  In that chapter, it was revealed to me through my husband’s and God’s direction, that the Greek work for “goodness” in the Bible, which is “Agathosune,” literally means, “virtue equipped at every point.”  

It is not the kind of “goodness” described in the English language, I found out.  It is a MUCH deeper, much more like Jesus kind of “goodness.”  Agathosune is described as aggressive goodness, but when applied to our husbands, it must be tempered with submission to his will, and gentleness, and huge doses of respect and adoration for him as your husband.  But an example of agathosune in other relationships (not authority/submission relationships), is that it calls others out on their sin and destructive ways.  It is the very “goodness” Jesus displayed when he overthrew the tables of the merchants in the Temple, and chased them out with a whip, whipping their backs as they rushed out in terror.  I found when writing this chapter back then, that there is no English equivalent to describe that kind of virtue.

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Now, all that said, the reason for writing this post came from remembering my time in different marriage groups – both in person and through online groups where only the wives were present.  I’ll never forget our first experience in a marriage group.  It was only 2 weeks after our wedding (4 weeks after our secret marriage where we did it in court), and there we were with our fresh, baby faces so excited to meet other couples who wanted to pursue God in their marriages and learn to love each other better.

But that’s not at all what we found in that church marriage group.

We sadly saw tons of conflict, negative remarks the wives would make about their husbands – with him sitting right there!!!!  And husbands making cutting remarks back in defense because she just humiliated him in front of practical strangers!  Lord have mercy it was eye-opening and depressing.  We were so naive… and even though I’d spent YEARS listening to Dr. Laura’s awful female callers berate their husbands (and she slam them with hard, cold truth 😀 ) I actually believed that Christian women would somehow know better.

But they don’t 😦  At least not yet.  That’s why in large part, I started this blog to reach out to friends and family who had never heard or realized you create the marriage you want.

BETRAYAL that Regularly Happens in Marriage Groups:

  • An attitude that displays your open disrespect for your husband.  I’ve seen women just freely talk about their husbands’ flaws and bad habits.
  • Using negative words to describe your husband’s character to other women in the group (or men if it’s co-ed like many church marriage groups are).  Words like “selfish,” “unkind,” “lazy,” “fat,” are not words you should use when describing your husband to other people – it’s just obviously not respectful of him.  I’ve seen Christian women do this very easily, and then agree with other wives (who gladly chime in to point out his failings) that their husbands are “selfish,” or “lazy.” One good example of this was when a wife was complaining to the group of 100’s of women online, that her husband loved to sleep late especially when on vacation with their family.  When he would allow her to sleep in, he’d feel tired later on, and she’d feel guilty for even asking him.  I watched other wives immediately chime in with remarks that their EX-husbands used to mistreat them like that, and that he was lazy and being selfish and not a good father!  Something like this probably shouldn’t be talked about in a group setting. There are so many ways to better deal with things like that, rather than allowing other wives, of all things, to persuade you that your husband is “mis-treating you” with his “selfishness.”  What if it’s not really selfishness?  What if it’s a misunderstanding and he’s just not aware of what you need or want?  What if he’s ok with feeling a little more tired if it means he was kind to you in allowing you to sleep in once a week?  Surely there can be a compromise between you two, without destroying his reputation among other people who don’t know him (or you).  Even if something IS selfishness on his part, what good is going to come from letting a group or even 100’s of women online, know you think so little of him and his character?  Just unwise… all around.
  • Talking about your husband’s bad habits… not protecting his reputation from people or strangers.  Giving away free negative information about your husband to perfect strangers online is kind of the definition of foolishness.  There are ALL kinds of verses that talk about the Fool – speaking too soon before they have all the information necessary (slander), using specific proverbs like a drunk person (talking out of place and misapplying Bible verses), not seeing danger ahead and taking cover, but instead plunging right into it.  It would stink to be the husband of a foolish wife who regularly betrays him by talking too much about his failings.  If there’s anything the Proverbs 31 wife would never do, it’s paint her husband in a negative light.  Protecting his reputation and character is one of her basic priorities and a huge part of loving him and being good to him.  Remember, he has an important position in society and sits at the city gates (and praises her ❤ so romantic)!  How does the foolish wife return the favor of a husband who praises her in public?  By revealing his secrets and struggles to people in marriage groups or through their blogs/social media accounts.

 

Bottom line, I think marriage groups can be great and foster wonderful, life-long friendships even, but through our 10 years of being almost always a part of one (or multiple if you count the online groups I’ve been in), the chances of betrayal are WAY higher in groups like this unless they are moderated very well (and sometimes harshly in putting an end to a wife discussing things that should be worked out between only her and her husband).

THE GOLDEN RULE:

DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU’D HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU

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If you want someone to treat you with respect (or protect your reputation), maybe you should consider how you treat others first.  I believe that observing that one rule is what leads to true humility, and honoring others as better than yourself.  Also, be slow to speak, and quick to listen.  And when it comes to your husband, the man you’ve made vows to and are supposed to adore, being good to him, also means protecting him and his reputation (it’s virtue equipped at every opportunity, remember?).

So join in positive marriage groups, but don’t use them foolishly.  Be a good wife to your husband, and protect him always.

Stephanie

 

How to Stand Strong in Stressful Times

This is a great video.  I urge all you readers to watch it.  It’s SO. GOOD.

I found it about two or three months ago, and it’s just repeated wisdom of what I’ve heard all my life growing up in a strong, Christian school from age 4-15, having strong Christian parents, and then mentors who have poured into my life.

I feel so lucky (not sure “blessed” would be the right word here) – but seriously lucky to have had all those people in my life, to the point where this message is not new to me, but wonderful to have so much wisdom piled into such a short video.  We’re all at the mercy of where God places us – what kind of parents we will have is probably the biggest deciding factor on how our lives will turn out.  And yes, I have some “survivors guilt” I think from having such wise, wonderful people for parents.

Anyway… no matter what you’re going through, and this message seems to speak to many things, I hope you find comfort in this video.

Stephanie