Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wisdom and Folly Part 2: Proverbs 4-6

These chapters in Proverbs had a whole lot more to say about Folly/the Strange Woman.

So many thoughts that pop out at me. The virtuous woman is not one to gossip, thinks about the paths before her and walks accordingly on the path of light (wow!). And listens to instruction and knowledge.
The Strange Woman despises instruction and knowledge and her path is one of darkness on which she stumbles along not thinking about the way she has chosen.
One thing that stands out to me as I do this comparison is how the Virtuous Woman description has depth. Whereas the Strange Woman is only characterized by the externals. Her eyes, her tongue, her speech. Her actions, attitudes, words, and appearance all give her away. It seems that the Virtuous Woman would be more reserved. And not known by what she does, but rather what she does not do, or does not say. Just interesting.

Wisdom/Virtuous Woman Folly/Strange Woman
Listens to instruction 4:1 Wicked and violent 4:17
A high prize 4:8 Way is deep darkness 4:19
Path is light 4:18 They do not know what makes them stumble 4:19
Guards her heart with vigilance 4:23 Crooked speech 4:24
Thinks about the path she chooses 4:26 Lips that drip honey 5:3
Uses discretion 5:2 Speech smoother than oil 5:3
Lips that guard knowledge 5:2 Bitter and sharp speech 5:4
Led by wise instruction 6:22 Follow the path of destruction 5:5
See’s teaching and instruction as a light to their path 6:23 Does not think about the path she chooses 5:6

Wanders without thinking 5:6

Hates discipline 5:12

Despises reproof 5:12

Does not listen to teachers or instructors 5:13

Held in sin 5:22

Lazy 6:6 6:9

Worthless 6:12

Perverted heart 6:14

Haughty eyes 6:17

Lying tongue 6:17

hands that shed innocent blood 6:18

Feet that run to do evil 6:18

False witness who breathes out lies 6:19

Sows discord 6:19

Captures with her eyelashes 6:25

Commits adultery 6:32 

Lacks sense 6:32

Gets Wounds and dishonor 6:33

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wisdom and Folly or the Virtuous Woman and Strange Woman?

My husband challenged me as I read Proverbs to do a comparison chart and view wisdom and folly as the virtuous woman and strange woman. We all know that Proverbs was written by Solomon to his son. So, it makes sense that to relate to his son, Solomon would talk in comparison to the right and wrong woman. Interesting thought. Today I read Proverbs 1-3 and it was easy to see the traits of a virtuous woman verses the traits of a strange woman. Check out the chart below and strive today to put on the traits of wisdom! I will be sharing my charts over the next few days as I travel through proverbs!

Wisdom/Virtuous Woman
Folly/Strange Woman
Fears the Lord 1:7
Despise wisdom and instruction 1:7
Does not walk in the way of fools 1:15
Feet run to evil 1:16
Has security 1:33
Delight in scoffing 1:22
Does not fear disaster 1:33
Greedy of unjust gain 1:19
Knowledge is pleasant 2:10
Hate knowledge 1:22 1:29
Understands righteousness, justice, and equity 2:9
Refuse to listen to wisdom 1:24
Walks in integrity 2:7
Did not choose to fear the Lord 1:29
Saved for the upright 2:7
Destroyed by complacency 1:32
Given by God 2:6
Perverted speech 2:12
Delivered from evil 2:12
Forsake the paths of uprightness 2:13
Inhabit the land 2:21
Walk in darkness 2:13
Trusts in the Lord 3:5
Rejoice in doing evil 2:14
Honors the Lord with wealth 3:9
Delight in perverseness 2:14
Better than silver and gold 3:14
Ways are crooked and devious 2:15
More precious than jewels 3:15
Smooth words 2:16
Hands hold long life, riches, and honor 3:16
Forsakes the companion of her youth 2:17
Ways are pleasant 3:17
Forgets the covenant of her God 2:17
Paths are peace 3:17
House sinks to death 2:18
Tree of life 3:18
Depends on own understanding 3:5
Inherit’s honor 3:35
Wise in own eyes 3:7

Despises discipline 3:11

Get’s disgrace 3:35

Monday, July 7, 2014

Thoughts as I begin reading about Solomon.

As I ponder the life of David, (that I just finished reading about) and begin reading about Solomon, and catch glimpses of the heart of this man, I am struck by a single thought. Our legacy is important. 
David did not live a perfect life. He dealt with anger, lust, and adultery. Yet, he was called a "man after God's own heart." I look at his life and see how God can take our sin cursed lives and turn them into something beautiful. 
Just beginning in the life of Solomon, much is shown of his heart. He loved his Lord. He cared much for his people and the responsibility before him as their king. So much so that when God asked him what one thing he desired, he asked for wisdom and understanding to better lead and guide his people! 
If God came to you and asked you what one thing you desired, what would your response be? Would you ask for riches and power? Or would you ask for wisdom on how you can better lead and guide your family? 
We live in a materialistic world. I am sure Solomon also lived in a world where "things" were what counted towards ones wealth in the eyes of man. 

Back to the legacy. Solomon had the guidance from a man who was not perfect, who made wrong choices in his life, who stumbled in his walk with God. He saw firsthand how sin could destroy a man's life and the lives of others. His father was king David! 
No, we are not royalty. No, we do not have nations to lead. But we have precious lives of the children that God has given to us. Children who will see our low moments in life. Who will see us fail and make mistakes and sin against God. But do our children also see us raised up again by God to worship Him in the midst of our darkest moments in life? Are we teaching our children about the heart of God? Are we teaching our children about sin? Are we teaching our children about the redeeming power of the Gospel? Or are we just correcting behavior? I am preaching to myself today. 
So many times I desire my children act a certain way to please me. This is not altogether bad, but if all I reach is the outward actions and lose their hearts, then I have failed as a parent! 

I need to reach their hearts! I need to teach them what a redeemed heart looks like! I need to lead their hearts to God so that they can then give God their hearts and lives! 

As parents we have a very large and overwhelming task before us. A task that, without God, is truly impossible. Let us strive to be parents after God's heart and also parents after the hearts of our children! Let us ask God for wisdom and knowledge to lead these little ones that we have been entrusted with. Just as Solomon learned to love God from the legacy of his father, let us start a similar legacy that teaches our children to love God as a result of our lives! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Duck! So God can Reach Your Man!

Last night I read a different (and convicting) twist on that dreaded word, SUBMISSION, in the book Capturing His Heart.
I have a strong personality. Head strong is probably an accurate description. I like to be in control. I am a mess when things get out of my control. It is simply how I am wired and it is an area I have really had to work on A LOT in our marriage. Submission is something I struggle with (as all women who are honest do). Being married to a sinner saved by grace is not an easy task! Just because you are saved does not make you perfect. Sometimes it is just hard to submit to a less than perfect person who just can't seem to do things how I expect/want them done! Major exaggeration going on....but still if we are honest, we have all had these thoughts! 
But what is the reality of submission? It is letting go of the reigns and handing them to God and our  husbands and saying....ok! I am not supposed to be in charge. 
What am I saying? Stop trying to fix all of your husbands problems. If he isn't as perfect as you would have him to be then duck out of the way so God can touch him and make him the man God desires him to be! 
What does this entail? Quit pointing out his failures and flaws spiritually and otherwise. Instead, duck out of the way...fall to your knees and pray! Pray for your husband! Pray that God would continue to mould and shape him into the man of your dreams or better yet a man after God's heart! Let God point out the areas he needs to work on!
This is a lesson learned for me. And one I need to work on daily! 
Submission does not mean letting your husband take advantage of you or treat you as some slave. Nope, submission is simply allowing your husband to be the leader and head of your home, and you stepping aside so God can direct his life! 
Let's determine to start today! Find moments to "duck out of the way" and pray for your husband so God can make him and your marriage great! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

If Only My Husband Would Change!

Oh, how I could relate to these first two chapters of these books! Somehow I really think God directed me to these two books instead of simply stumbling across them on Amazon! 

How many times do we think to ourselves...."If only my husband could see how he needs to improve or change! My life and our relationship would be so much better!" I have been there! I have thought those exact words! Or how about the times when our emotional state is determined by whether or not we are getting along with our husbands? Yup! I can raise both hands high on that one! 
But what is the truth? What is the solution to both of these problems?

When our emotional state is dictated by whether or not our relationship with our husbands is going well then we are allowing our husbands to be our "god." Yup....I never saw this before, but can say I have been guilty of such. If God is truly number one in our lives then it won't matter if things are going great or if we have some things we need to work through with our Hubby's. Our peace should rest in the approval of Christ and Him alone. The main question is, who are we living for? We ought to be living for Christ and not our husband. If we are living for Christ, and things are not perfect between us and our husbands, then we can still be at peace knowing we can work through it and be ok! Yeah, easy to read and understand, but not always easy to live. The main point, instead of always thinking of ways our husbands need to change, lets turn the mirror around and look for ways we can change! Allow God to be God in your life. Live for Him! Build and grow your relationship with Him and know that God can carry you through the ups and downs of married life! 

Then came the next book and that first chapter. It seemed to just add on to the first book. 
Empathy. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Putting ourselves in our husbands shoes! Trying to see life as he sees it! I know...not always easy! I could relate to her illustration! So, here is how things normally go in my world....Drew is at work all day long, and I am home with the kids. He comes home and I have been anticipating his arrival all day! He walks in the door, exhausted! The only things on his mind are food, and sleep! But what welcomes him? A super chatty wife, excited and busy children, and a list of things he needs to get done at home. No wonder he walks in the door sometimes and he finds a quiet spot and can be a little gruff! I haven't been thinking of him and his needs! Instead I am thinking of my own. I will admit, I get selfish when he comes home and secludes himself. I wish I could do the same thing sometimes! But that is not my reality at the moment. Sometimes I even think critically of my husband. 
All of this is not right! We need to lift up our husbands and think well of them. Let them have some space when they need it. Provide that space if possible. Don't grumble and complain when they do stuff that drives you nuts (like leave messes around the house or forget to fix something). Their brains are wired differently than ours. 
Try to understand your husband and serve him! 
When we are tempted to think on our husbands shortcomings and failures, we need to instead be reminded of their strengths and the reasons we are thankful for them! 
I know! So much homework! Being married to a man is not an easy task! But when we have a close relationship with God and we work on areas in our own lives and change to be better wives, we will reap the benefits of a great relationship with the man we love! 

On the side....

As I am realizing that amazingly ten years has gone by since I met my husband, I have found two books that I am also going through in addition to reading through my Bible. My goal: to be a better wife and understand the heart of my husband more. He is a complicated creature...ok, maybe not...but still, with our differences I don't understand him often and this leads to frustration for both of us. The two books I am gojng through are simple, straightforward, and laid out in such a way that it is easy to read a chapter (both of which are short) and munch on something each day. 
The books:
Capture His Heart
    by Lisa Terkeurst
Buried Treasure: Revealing Your Husband as the Man of Your Dreams. 
    by Leslie Monroe

Will probably be writing little blurbs on things I learn as I go. :) 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Sad Reality of Sin: The Story of David and Bathsheba.

As I have been going along in my reading of the life of David, a theme has taken shape. Here is a man after God's own heart who is seeking God daily, as you can read in his Psalms. You see him in 1-2 Samual and in the Chronicles as God goes before him and he has many victories in the face of opposition. 
David's story is not of some "holier than thou" man. David's story is about a man who still struggles with anger, lust, and the sins of men, but through it all he loves and follows his God...the One True God.
I have been challenged through this time to be a woman after God's heart and to seek His heart daily. I fail, but with God's help I get back up and continue on this journey! 

So, back to David's story. 
It was spring. David sent all his men and servents to battle. The text says ALL Israel. Instead of going along, David lingered and stayed behind in Jerusalem. The text does not say why, but he did. And I am sure it is a decision he later came to regret. David, the King, was not where he should have been. Instead, he was in Jerusalem, and went up to the rooftop. There he saw her. Bathing. He lingered. He looked. She was beautiful. 
Now, some might ask...why was she able to be seen by David? Was it her fault for not being more careful? I would argue that it seems, according to the text, that all the men of Israel were off to battle, except David. The text does not say she is naked, or unclothed in anyway. It says she was bathing. And a couple verses later it mentions she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness. David obviously looked enough to notice she was very beautiful and desired her. 
Unfortunately, David did not stop there. He inquired about her. He found out she was the wife of Uriah. That still did not stop David. Knowing Uriah was off to battle (where he clearly should have been), he took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. 
Does this mean she also committed sin? This is clearly where it seems a little fuzzy. You need to remember, David was the King. The most powerful man at the time. She may have come to him simply because of who he was. We don't know. Did she even have an option in the situation? It sounds like David was in charge of the situation according to the text. What are your thoughts? Was Bathsheba raped? Or was she also at fault? In my opinion, according to the text, it sounds like David took advantage of a situation and Bathsheba (because of who David was) was powerless. She could not call for help. Who could help her apart from God? 
Either way, Bathsheba later sent word to David that she was pregnant. In that moment, his act of sin became bigger than he first imagined, and then he tried to cover it up. 
David had Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, put on the front lines of battle, then set him up to be killed. Of course, it worked. And some of King David's servents also lost their lives as a result. When word got back to Bathsheba she mourned. This alone tells me she deeply loved her husband. Possible proof she did not have any control when it came to David's actions towards her. David then took Bathsheba as his wife. 
The last words of 2 Samual 11 are these: "But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."

So, what can we learn from this low point in the life of David? Sin is powerful. Even those close to God are not immune to sin's power. We need to be sure we do not get lazy and allow ourselves to be tempted. We need to make sure we are always right where God would have us. But most importantly, even in the midst of our darkest days, God can turn ashes into beauty. If you know the rest of the story of Bathsheba and David you know that God did not give up on David's life (or Bathsheba's). But that is for another day. 

Strive today to be in your place, where God would have you to be. Keep your eyes on Him. Follow Him. Stay close to His Word! Seek the heart of God daily! Make wise choices. It only took one choice in David's life to alter the lives of many. He chose to stay behind. He chose to go to the rooftop. He chose to look and linger. He chose to act. 
Choose to follow God alone. 
What are your thoughts on the story of David and Bathsheba?