Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Tattooed Jesus - book review

I recently read "The Tattooed Jesus" by Pastor Kevin Swanson which takes an insightful look at our pop culture and the worldviews that it promotes. Our family's lives became radically altered when we started taking Romans 12:2 seriously (do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind....). As we began to spend large amounts of time renewing our minds by the Word, we became increasingly sensitive to the messages portrayed through the media, fashions, education, and overall culture around us. At worst, messages were blatantly antichristian, and at best, the culture certainly did not encourage personal holiness.  Since beginning this journey of renewing our minds, the culture hasn't gotten more Godly... quite the contrary! It is refreshing to find a book that addresses the trends and agenda of our western society.

Pastor Swanson has done an excellent job examining the messages emitted around us. He shows how our humanistic worldview has drastically affected our views of God and how we worship (or don't worship) Him. In our post-modern, anything goes culture, we Christians have largely failed to be the salt and light. We have let the world affect us to the point that we blend right in. Like the frog in the kettle, we don't even recognize that our surroundings have largely overtaken us and our children. We passively and actively expose ourselves to the things which God hates, especially through the media that we turn on in our homes. We call evil good and good evil, and the Word of God has a few things to say about that... We are so desensitized to our culture that we fail to critically discern the underlying messages of authors, songwriters, producers, and companies. Actually, we are so "dumbed down" as a society, that we don't even know that there is an agenda out there that wants to govern how we think. We have entertained ourselves to death and using our brains and seeking discerning wisdom is frankly too much work for our society in general. Swanson carefully delineates these trends within the music, television, movies, literature, body art, piercings, fashion, etc... and exposes the obvious and not so obvious impacts upon our western culture. 

In an era where it is widely popular for the church to be relevant to the culture, this book forces one to ask if that is such a wise thing? Is our "freedom in Christ" being used and abused to give license to do/act/watch anything that makes us feel "right" or happy?  Has our "freedom in Christ" ultimately turned into freedom FROM Christ? Have you even thought about it? Whether you have or haven't, this book will challenge and encourage you to evaluate and engage your culture. 

(I would also highly recommend the book "Apostate" by the same author).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Our Unforgettable Journey - Grammie Eve

I’ve been mentally writing about this for the past 8 months, but haven’t gotten it on paper until now. (Actually I spent 3 hours writing it last night only to have my 6 year old accidently delete it… so here I am again, sharing our hearts about my grandma.)  Shortly after Zeke was born, I took all seven children to visit Great Grammie Eve. She was living at the assisted living facility in Holyrood and had recently recovered from a case of pneumonia. I had planned a rather lengthy visit, so the kids brought their Bibles to read to her and some school work to pass some time. Grandma was 103 and not the most communicative person anymore.  The visit went well, but the Lord used it as the beginning of a blessed journey that our family will never forget.

Grammie had progressed to the point of being beyond the level of care that the assisted living facility was licensed to provide. She had probably been past that “point” for some time. But none-the-less, plans had been made to move Grammie into a nursing home in April. As we sat in our family room the evening of our visit, the Spirit brought to our minds several scriptures concerning caring for the widows, honoring your father and mother, laying down your life, self sacrifice, storing up treasures where moths and rust cannot destroy, and loving your neighbor, etc… He also brought up Haggai 2:9 – “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts.  And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.” We prayed and continue to pray this verse throughout the building/remodeling process and for our (now finished) home. Our desire was/is that it be a gospel outpost and would be used to glorify His name through the raising of our kids, serving others, Bible studies, home groups, and whatever else He would place in our path.  It became quite clear that the LORD desired us to bring Grammie into our home to care for her.

We prayed for wisdom and discernment, but God didn’t really leave any room for doubt in our minds as to what He desired us to do. Our decision was easy to make. I sat on the couch and started writing out notes about the logistics of conforming our home into something more user friendly for Grammie. I looked around and I could imagine Grammie napping in her chair in our family room. I thought about what our office would look like with her bed in it. I did some internet research on products that would make our bathroom suitable for her. I also tried to think about every possible scenario that might come up. I made a list of pros and cons that would affect our family: what would we gain, what would we have to give up?  (Every “con” was a direct result of selfishness.) The verse from Haggai continued to fuel our preparations. What would glorify God more: a picture-perfect office and bathroom that look like they came right out of a magazine or a rearranged office with a hospital bed and a bathroom with a stool riser, transfer bench in the tub, and denture container sitting on the sink? After all, we value life and so does God. It doesn’t matter if that life is “pre-born” or 103 years old. If you are pro-life, you also must be pro-elderly.  At any age, we are still created in the image of God and He values life, whether or not that life is (by man’s definition) a productive member of society or not.

Move-in day!
On March 31, 2014, Grammie Eve became a permanent member of our household and took her place as our 8th and oldest “child”.  Not every family can say that they have a 103 year age span between their oldest and youngest children!  Just like when you add a new baby to a family, there were a couple of weeks where we felt like we were juggling and spinning plates at the same time. Our family got a crash course on hearing aids, wheel chairs, dentures, depends, hospital beds, transfer benches, walkers, etc… But we soon figured out our new normal of having Grammie around.  We adapted to the routine of providing for the needs of an “adult-sized toddler”. We learned that we rarely could do spur-of-the-moment things without finding a “Grammie-sitter”.  But, in a way, it was kind of nice to be forced to simplify things, stay home, and really integrate her into our family.

She loved hearing the kids play their piano, having the toddler give her toys (which she sometimes didn’t give back), and listening to the kids read their Bibles and books.  She was a part of our school day too. This year we are studying modern history and the kids were always calculating how old Grammie was when: the Titantic sank, WWI happened, the Lusitania sank, the stock market crashed, WWII occurred, etc… She was a walking history lesson! We just wished that she could have told us stories!

Grammie had her days where she was very interactive, and those where she wasn’t interactive at all. Sometimes she stood up, clapped, and told the kids to play their piano more.  Other times she just slept through her personal concert. When she was interactive, the kids enjoyed getting her to write and draw, fold clothes, and play with play-doh (though she kept trying to eat it).  We looked at books, photos, did pedicures, she watched us clean house, and she got lots and lots of baby holding time.  She and Zeke took many naps together.

She was a part of our daily family worship. We prayed for her and we prayed with her.  On my Sundays to stay home with her, we watched many sermons by Joe Morecraft.  I would sit her right in front of the ipad screen and crank up the volume to make sure she could hear. When we tucked her in bed, we said the Lord’s Prayer together and many times she said it right along with us. I would tell her I loved her each night as I tucked her in. Sometimes she said “Uh huh”, other times she said, “I love you too.”

As the weather warmed up she enjoyed seeing and smelling the fresh lilacs, irises, and wild flowers. We brought in the new chicks for her to hold (though I seriously thought she was going to pull one’s head off)! She held the kittens, saw the alpacas, and watched our tomato seedlings grow into strong, vibrant plants. We spent many evenings on the screened in porch watching the kids play. She watched me process and can dozens and dozens of quarts and pints of garden produce.

We came to appreciate that she was far more than just a “shell”.  Her personality would definitely shine through when she was feeling spry. She would tell the kids to get their shoes and socks on, and zip up their coats… typical things that Grandma would be concerned about. If the kids weren’t around, she missed them. I’m sure she came to appreciate the inherent noise level in a home with 7 kids… or maybe she thought that being hard of hearing was really a blessing!

A week before she passed, she had several really good days where she was chatty, getting around well, observant, and interactive. One morning I had been putting clothes in the dryer and I stopped by her bed to say good morning.  She grabbed my hands and said that they were cold.  She cupped her hands around mine and rubbed them, then she put my fingers to her mouth to blow on them to warm them up. (Just like any mom would do.)  Later that morning she said to me, “When are they coming to get me? I’m ready to go!”  I told her that we weren’t going anywhere that day. She asked me the question again.

We’ve been told that often people will rally right before their time is finished. That seemed to be the case with Grammie.  The next day she was a “rag doll”. She didn’t seem to know what was going on, she was weak, and not very interactive. The next few days continued on the same path where she became less and less responsive. She wasn’t sick at all, but just coasting through the last days that the good Lord had ordained for her. She died so peacefully while Keilah and I were holding her hand and caressing her head, telling her that we loved her and praying for her. In retrospect, I wonder if she had a much deeper meaning in asking me, “When are they coming to get me? I’m ready.”

When we took Grammie in, we did it in order to be a blessing to her. We knew it would help teach our children about true love, self sacrifice, honoring the elderly, and valuing life.  Although we knew she would be a blessing to us too, we had no idea how much of an impact she would have on our family.  She gave us far more than we gave her. What we would give to still have our “oldest child” with us again: to have an opportunity to serve her longer; to serve her better.  But we are so thankful that the Lord gave us the time He did. We are grieving, but are comforted by 1 Thes. 4:13: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.”  We have hope.

We now sit in our home where 8 months ago we imagined what it would “look” like to move Grammie in with us.  Her chair is gone, her bed is gone, her wheel chair and walker are gone, her bathroom supplies are gone. And now we get to figure out what our “new” normal looks like since (as Keilah puts it), “Grammie Eve has gone to glory, and is clothed in white with a crown, worshiping Jesus.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fear of the Lord and the Attributes of God

For many months I have been meditating on and doing a Bible survey on the fear of the Lord. What is it exactly? How do you get it/do it? How do you teach it to your kids? How do you live it out in your life? Doing a Bible study on it by looking up each instance it is used (fear of God, fear of the Lord, etc.) is very helpful and I would recommend that you do that. I am a firm believer in letting scripture interpret scripture… and in letting the scriptures define fear of the Lord you will find such definitions as: wisdom (Job 28:28); is clean, enduring forever (Psalm 19:9); beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Prov. 9:10); the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7); the hatred of evil (Prov. 8:13); a fountain of life (Prov. 14:27); instruction in wisdom (Prov. 15:33); it turns you away from evil (Prov. 16:6); it leads to life (Prov. 19:23); etc… (Note that this is not an exhaustive list.)  Even more, you can walk in it, delight in it, know it, continue in it, it leads to life, riches (spiritual), and honor, it is better than treasure, it is Zion’s treasure, you can be taught it, it is clean….

Wow! Don’t you want this to the fullest extent? Don’t you want to teach it to your children? I do! I want to grasp it, to drink it in, to breath it out, to fully understand it more each day. One of the ways that our family immerses ourselves in God’s truth is daily reading and studying of the Word by reading the Bible chronologically through each year. Here is the reading plan we use. I get through it 2-3 times per year by just doubling up on the daily readings and this year, my 11 year old wanted to go through the Bible 2 times too. I teach our kids to read at the age of 3-4 so that by the January after they turn 5, they can join the family in the yearly Bible reading plan. In addition to the daily reading, we also read a chapter in Proverbs, going through the whole book once/month. (For example, if it is the 10th, we read chapter 10 in Proverbs.)  This is very helpful in cultivating a good knowledge of God’s word throughout the years. In addition, we generally work our way through a more in depth study of a book of the Bible, a character study, a topical study, etc. for our morning devotions and we have a fantastic study guide on the book of Proverbs that we work through with Dad in the evenings.

So in an attempt to better understand the Fear of the Lord, we began an extensive study on the attributes of God. If we are going to fear God, we have to know WHO we are fearing. WHO IS THIS GOD??? What do we believe about Him and have we been taught RIGHTLY about who He is? Or is He just what I have constructed in my mind? Have I been taught rightly about Him? If what I believe about Him consists of what my fleshy mind comes up with, then “He” is just a fabricated idol. I want to believe correctly about Him based upon what He says about Himself in the scriptures and how He revealed Himself through His son. And, I want my children to do the same.

Paul Washer has a great, FREE, ebook/pdf file entitled The OneTrue God that the kids and I are working through together. (He also has a free ebook about man’s true nature that we will do when we are finished with The One True God.) In addition, Tozer’s book: The Knowledge of the Holy is an awesome reference. I have read and worked through it several times and each time I am richly blessed. I also started the Bible study, Behold Your God by John Snyder. It sure is amazing how the Lord brings so many resources into my life that all deal with the same thing! I guess He is really challenging me to study His attributes!

This journey continues to be a blessing to my soul as I “taste and see that the Lord is good”. I find myself striving evermore to behold the beauty of Christ and His sacrifice for me. As I see God for what He really is, and see myself and my sin for what I really am, I am forced into submission, humility, trembling, and thankfulness to my savior who would save a “wretch like me”.  I would encourage you to reflect and really study what scripture says about God: His holiness, eternality, sovereignty, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, love, justice, grace, mercy, faithfulness, truthfulness, righteousness, self-existence, immutability, etc… You will be highly blessed.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby number seven...

I have been blessed with the BEST family and friends!!!! It has been a whirlwind over the past week and a half but as the light at the end of the tunnel shines through, I am able to reflect on God's goodness and provisions, His trials and His mercies, and His steadfast love and faithfulness in answering prayers.

Last week, a major snowstorm was predicted for our area. I love snow storms, but being due with number 7 at any moment, and knowing how fast my labors can progress, we were concerned about baby picking such a weather pattern to make his/her appearance.  When I woke up Monday morning, it was evident that labor was going to happen within the next couple of days. Since the snowstorm was predicted beginning Monday night, we went to the midwife Monday afternoon who checked our progress and non-medically got our labor started at about 6pm.  Based upon past experience, we figured the baby would be born within a few hours and we could make it home before the snow and wind began. However, that was not to be. Overnight my contractions were 10 minutes apart, but lasted a hard 3 minutes each.... ALL NIGHT!  By morning, I was exhausted and only dilated to a 6.  Had I been in a hospital, I would have asked for an epidural and told them to wake me up when the baby got here. But that wasn't an option. The only option was to keep persevering in my exhaustion through transition. My lifesaver was the jetted tub. This was a new experience for me. The hot, jetted bath did wonders for refreshing my body and spirit and fairly quickly got me through the transitional phase and into the ready-to-push phase.

Then there came the pushing. Again, I am not used to having to push. Only on one of my previous 6 did I have to push and she was "sunny side up".  But pushing on this baby wasn't making any progress. Finally, at 10:26 A.M. on February 4th, Ezekiel Jon was born..... yep, he was sunny side up and he was also cock-eyed in my pelvis.  It just goes to show you what a difference mal-positioning makes on labor progress (15 minutes on baby 6 to 15 hours on baby 7)!  Zeke was 19 1/2 inches long and 6#2oz.

God was faithful in answering all of the prayers that went up for the little guy from the beginning of pregnancy through the birth.  We stayed at the birthing center for just a couple of hours before heading home. The snowfall was already significant, but at least the winds hadn't kicked in yet. It was a slow trip home, but we made it without any mishaps.  As you can imagine, we had quite the welcoming party when we got there: 6 older siblings to welcome the new addition home!

He is the perfect little baby, but unfortunately I wasn't able to fully enjoy his first week as I had hoped.

About day 4 I started having a tooth ache on one of my molars (on baby #5 I had the same thing a few days post partum but it got better).  I did salt water rinses, tea tree oil, thieves' oil, and just about every other home remedy I could research. But the toothache only got worse. By Sunday my lower jaw was swollen and it got worse by Monday. I was crying out in pain (FAR WORSE THAN LABOR)! I thought I was dying.  By Monday evening I wanted to die! I started antibiotics ad stronger pain meds Monday night and by Tuesday I was feeling great. The pain was better, even when the pain meds were wearing off, and I could at least enjoy my newborn again!  However, I looked awful as my jaw was swollen to the size of a baseball. My hubby made me go to the dentist (actually he made the appt. and escorted me there... I would not have called or gone as things were improving). The dentist pulled the tooth..... NOT A PLEASANT OR PAINLESS EXPERIENCE... but at least the problem is taken care of and my swelling is back to normal.

So after a whirlwind of a couple of weeks, life is back to normal! As I reflect, again, I'm reminded about the goodness and faithfulness of our God who has blessed us with great family and friends who have stepped up to help out during this craziness! We have been given great meals and lots of help around the house. Our other kids have also been awesome in pitching in when I was not exactly functioning at a high level.

So as we settle in to our "new normal" of seven kids, we dare not forget to worship and praise our Lord who has blessed us far more abundantly than we could ever ask or hope... even and especially in the midst of trials.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thoughts on The Forbidden Woman

I have been meaning to write about a couple of topics for quite some time now (family worship and devoting yourself to “endless genealogies…”). However, mothering, cooking, hospitality, schooling, bow hunting, housekeeping, fall cattle work, etc… has taken priority over sitting down at the computer and typing!  But there has been another topic heavy on my heart for the past few weeks and it was compounded this week when I found out about a man whose teaching and ministry we highly respect admitted recently to having an emotionally inappropriate relationship with someone who was not his wife.  It is interesting because my weekly Bible study/prayer partner and I were just discussing some of the practical applications of guarding against Satan and the flesh in this area of our marriages. (On a side note, if you don’t have an accountability partner who you meet regularly with to strengthen, encourage, pray, confess sin, and search the scriptures together to discover how to conform your life to Christ, then you are missing out on a HUGE blessing of being part of the family of God. And if you “do” and it is a gossip session focused on worldly conversations or complaining about your lot in life… again, you are missing out.)

Be warned now: this is not going to be politically correct! The Biblical worldview that I hope to portray is completely antithetical to what our society values, teaches, and promotes. In fact, a large portion of “churches” in the western culture will not necessarily stand with the Holy Writ on this issue.  However, I pray that each word will be completely founded in the scriptures.

Proverbs 14:1 says “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” How do we guard our marriages from infidelity? (I am not saying or insinuating that in all cases of marital unfaithfulness the wife is to blame…) But is there something we can do as wives to prevent Satan’s and the flesh’s temptations to our husbands in this area? How can we be wise women and build up our houses?  Proverbs has much to say about the guises of the adulteress and forbidden woman (Prov. 2:16-19; Prov. 5; Prov. 6:20-35; Prov. 7; Prov. 9:13-18; Prov. 23:26-28; Prov. 30:20… just to name a few). I study the book of Proverbs several times a year; and I have been pondering the ways of the forbidden woman the past few weeks, thinking about how she pursues, woos, tempts, and makes herself noticeable and desirable to a man.  These women are out there. I know some of them and I bet you do too; AND they have contact with our husbands. It is important that we recognize our “enemy”, even if the enemy is in theory only (for today…).

It is so easy after you are married (especially after you’ve been married for a long time) to let our guard down, to stop trying to impress our husbands, to stop “pursuing” them. In some respects this is a good thing, because they can see us at our worst and still love us. But that doesn’t mean that we give up trying to have any excitement in our relationship. Before marriage, didn’t we care about what we looked like, what we said to him, how we spoke to him, and weren’t we more forgiving? When he was around us, didn’t we try to make the experience pleasant? But after we get married, it is far too easy to get too comfortable, selfish, and complacent. Proverbs warns about the tendencies and their effects on a husband that a wife is prone to. Proverbs 19:13b: A wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain; Prov. 12:4b but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones; Prov. 21:9/ Prov. 25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife; Prov. 27:15-16 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.  There you have it! We wives can easily be nagging, quarrelsome, shaming, and really just not fun to be around! And what are we doing to our beloved husbands? Water board treatment, rotting his bones, and making him prefer solitude. Ouch!  Now the tendency is to read these passages and think, “That’s not me.” But think a little harder about that. When our husband gets home from a hard day at work, does he walk into a house that is a refuge? Is it a pleasant environment? Does he feel welcomed, missed, and appreciated? Does he open the door to a wife who has prepared herself in anticipation of his arrival? Or do you meet him with an attitude of frustration because the kids have been crazy, a to-do list a mile long, a complaining spirit because he didn’t do _________ or fix ________, and do you drill him about all the errands he was supposed to get done and didn’t? That is nagging, quarrelling, dripping, shaming, and rotting his body and soul. That is tearing down your house with your own hands… and I’m sure to some extent, we have all been guilty of it.

Contrast this with our opponent: She is vying for his attention, she listens to what he has to say, she doesn’t nag him, she does her hair and makeup, she is not wearing a stained t-shirt and baggy sweat pants, she makes him feel important and respected. Do you see the difference here? This woman may be a secretary, associate, or co-worker of some type  who is paid to be an asset at work. It is pretty easy to see where the man would rather spend his time. So knowing that Satan is roaming around, seeking whom he may devour,  knowing that men are especially tempted by the lust of the eyes, what can we do to protect our men and our marriages?

The first thing to do is to pray: for wisdom, energy, correct biblical attitudes about our female roles, and strength as wives to fulfill our positions as our husband’s helpmeet (Gen. 2:18), and secondly for our husbands to avoid temptations in this area. A couple of years ago, I went through the scriptures describing qualifications of elders and deacons and made a prayer list of those attributes to pray for my husband. Not because I desire him to be an elder, but because I desire him to be a man of God who is characterized by those fruits. Below is my prayer list based upon the listed scriptures, unfortunately it didn’t copy/paste in the cute little text boxes that my original document was…
What to pray for my Husband
Titus 1
He would be above reproach
Our children would be saved
Our children would not be rebellious
He would not be greedy for gain
Not be arrogant or quick-tempered
Not be a drunkard or violent
Not be greedy for gain
He would be….
                        A lover of good
He would hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught
He would be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and be able to rebuke those who contradict it
Titus 2
He would be sober minded
He would be dignified
He would be sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness
He would be a model of good works
He would show integrity, dignity, and sound speech in his teaching
In everything he would adorn the doctrine of God our Savior
1 Timothy 3
He would be respectable
He would be able to teach
He would be gentle
He would not be quarrelsome
He would not be a lover of money
He would manage his household well, with dignity
He would keep his children submissive
He would not be double tongued
He would hold the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
That I would be a wife that is dignified, not a slanderer. That I would be faithful in all things so that I will be his helper
Ephesians 6

That he would not provoke our children to anger but would bring them up in the DISCIPLINE and INSTRUCTION of the Lord

1 Peter 3/Ephesians 5

That I would be submissive, respectful, and that my conduct would be pure in GOD’s eyes
That I would adorn myself with a gentle and quiet spirit
That  he would live with me in an understanding way, showing honor to me as the weaker vessel
That his prayers would not be hindered
It probably would be a good idea to pray that he wouldn’t be tempted by the lust of the eyes or flesh.  So the first defense we as wives need to be participating in is the power of prayer.

The next thing we need to address is our attitudes.  This is especially against every bone in our flesh… handed straight down to us from the curse (Gen. 3:16 “…Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you”) and reiterated to us through the feminist movement in our society. We have been told and believed that our roles in the home are oppressive, degrading, and not valuable.  We laugh at that famous textbook from the 50’s that encouraged wives to clean up the house, prepare a nice supper, make sure the kids are cleaned up and quiet, and to dress themselves up in preparation for the husband to come home.  Biblically, the wife is the husband’s helper. Would it not make sense that having a haven to come home to after work is a help to him? Does a good, nutritious meal help him physically and spiritually? Especially if he knows that it has been prepared with his likes/dislikes in mind? Wouldn’t you have loved doing such a thing during your engagement? So why not during the marriage?

Pointing out all of his shortfalls is not building up your house (either in gossiping to your friends or venting on your husband). Yes, we all have broken things in our houses and lists that the husband needs to take care of. But there is a better way than nagging him to convey your frustrations.  Don’t throw the list at him when he first walks through the door. Don’t text or call him several times a day piling up to do lists on his plate. Find a time to have a pleasant conversation with him and gently bring up issues that you may be having. Ask him how you can be a better help to him. Pray about your attitude, ask the Spirit to make you more selfless (Phil. 2:3-16). Pray through 1 Corinthians 13 and meditate on what love really is.  Will we have days where the house and kids are a mess and supper is ruined? Yes, we will. But that should be the exception and not the norm.  What else can you do to make your husband look forward to coming home and seeing you?

Lastly, I want to address our physical appearance. Do you dress up and put on some makeup when you grocery shop? If you dress up for your grocer, shouldn’t you all-the-more want to dress up for your husband? That doesn’t mean that you put on your Sunday best every day of the week, but there are more attractive clothes than your husband’s worn out t-shirt and baggy sweat pants, (even if you are pregnant or don’t look like a 20 year old). No matter what your body type, put a little thought into how you look. It is very easy to go through the tasks of a housewife/mom each day and never look into a mirror. But it really doesn’t take too long to fix up your hair and makeup and look nice for your husband. It never tells us what the Proverbs 31 woman’s figure was like, but it did say her clothing was fine linen and purple, and also strength and dignity. Is that what your wardrobe says about you? Again, yes, there will be times when sweat pants is all we are able to muster up, but that should be the exception. Remind yourself of all the thought the “forbidden woman” is putting into her appearance if you need some more motivation…  (Please note that I am not promoting immodest dressing, but that which portrays godliness and dignity. Does your clothing draw attention to your face or your body? “Hot” is for the bedroom of a husband and wife in a covenant relationship… *blush*).
Moving on… I am not going to comment much on this, but read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Meditate on it, pray about it, and seek the Spirit’s guidance.

I do not have any of this stuff perfected, but the Spirit has stirred my spirit on this whole concept of safeguarding my marriage. There are many areas in a marriage to be selfish and unloving, to seek worldly treasures rather than heavenly treasures. Our goal as Christians is to become more Christlike and becoming less selfish as wives and mothers is one way to display the gospel in our homes.