Saturday, December 20, 2014

Marriage is Healthy for Young Men!

When Ryan and Cassi met, he was in his second year of pharmacy school. He had already been really good friends with Steven and had discussed dental school with him. That fall, he began his third year of pharmacy school with rotations but decided he didn't want to be a pharmacist anymore. He began pursuing dental school after he pursued Cassi and married her!

Recently, I asked him how he liked dental school compared to pharmacy school. He told me he liked it SO much better. He said being married to Cassi made a huge difference. He wasn't nearly as stressed out. Cassi made his house a home. She fixes him nourishing food. She even makes bread from scratch for him every other week. She's his best friend and he can share anything with her. Ryan needed a help meet and Cassi makes his life much easier and more enjoyable for him. 

Many in today's society tell young people to get all of their education done before getting married so they put off getting married many years. Sure, Ryan and Cassi have to live very simply and forgo a lot of "pleasures" but they don't mind since they have a goal in mind. They love being married. Marriage is very healthy, especially for men!

My mom married my dad before he began medical school. Most people didn't let this deter them back in the "olden days." As you know, I don't believe young couples need to have all of their ducks in order to get married. All the Bible requires is that we marry a believer and it is better to marry than to burn. I would suggest also marrying a man who isn't afraid of hard work and desires to provide for his family. 

Let thy fountain be blessed: 
and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Proverbs 5:18

Friday, December 19, 2014

Is Submission Ever Comfortable and Easy to Do?

James Dobson from Focus on the Family has done a lot of good in his lifetime. He ministers to families and knows that they are the foundation upon which a healthy society is built. I agree with a lot of his teachings. I remember long ago when his children were young, he taught that mothers needed to be home full-time when the children were young. As his children got older, he would decide that mothers needed to be home full-time when they were older also. Then, he decided that even children in high school need full-time mothers. I applauded him for his advice.

He recently came out with the poster shown above. I disagree with it. I don't think any woman is comfortable following a husband's leadership and this is why older women are commanded to teach young women to love and obey their husbands. None of us want to be told what to do. We want things our way and the way we like it. No one submits to authority easily. It has to be taught just as children need to be taught to submit to their parent's authority. I have known many kind and gentle parents who didn't discipline and teach their children obedience to their authority. Therefore, the children grew up to be disobedient.

This kind of teaching destroys marriages. Most wives will never think their husbands are loving or gentle enough for them to follow. 'Loving' and 'gentle' will have to live up to their definitions and expectations of what those words look like. They become the leader of the home, instead of the husband. I have seen marriages where the husbands were very kind, yet the wives nagged them mercilessly.

Ken has always been loving and worthy of my respect. He has not always fit my definition of gentle but can you tell me any husband that does??? I'm not always gentle, are you? Aren't we called to take the log out of our own eye before we take the splinter out of someone else's? Besides, our obedience to the Lord should NEVER EVER depend on someone else's obedience. This is a total recipe for disaster!

  Certainly husbands are worthy of our respect but they will always have faults and disappoint us. They won't live up to our expectations. They won't do things we like, however, this shouldn't matter to us. Obeying God is what should matter to us and cause us to follow our husband's lead by being submissive to them.

 Therefore, women, don't wait for your husband to become the husband that you think he needs to become before you obey God. Obey God now, today, and see what God will accomplish through YOUR obedience. He works through those who are willing to give up their rights and do things His way since He is our Creator and knows what is best for us.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; 
that, if any obey not the word, they also may 
without the word be won by the conversation of the wives. 
I Peter 3:1

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Male's Perspective on Femininity

My post on Feminism and Femininity garnered great comments! Ken finally contributed with a male's perspective on femininity and I thought it was fantastic! I thought you should ALL read ~

I will add a male point of view to the discussion, because I believe both the Bible and history have much to say. Look throughout history and what do you find. Very "strong" and "weaker" women all generally deferring to a husband's greater strength. The strength of most women is not measured by the pounds they can bench press, but by their inner fortitude, stamina, and industriousness within the family unit. Women complete men in ways they cannot complete themselves. They are gifted in ways most men are not gifted with natural gentleness, sensitivity and cuteness.

Throughout history most men are not looking to spend a lifetime with another man, but with a woman with feminine qualities. We want our wives to be "strong and courageous in the Lord" but we also want them to melt into our arms, trust us and be a wife to us. We like our wives to dress pretty, look as feminine as they can, and be a sexually attractive person to us. Most of us want a wife who is strong enough to tell us her fears and her desires, but we also want her to do it in a gentle way that lets us know she respects us and our very few decisions that cannot be resolved by way of communications. 

So for most of the godly men out there, we want a feminine woman. This is not a Bible issue, this is an issue of nature and sex. What most attracts men to a woman are the feminine things she does. The way she laughs with a feminine laugh or how she gives you that smirky smile. When she walks in the room we know "that one is mine," and she is all dressed up and looking good for you. The last thing most men want is a testosterone filled wife who wants to arm wrestle us for every decision made or wants to wear jeans all day and night, and even to bed. Yes, we want a certain sexual tension that only  a flirting feminine wife knows how to do to start our engines. 

I think sometimes God does not speak a lot about things that are so obvious and this is one of those cases. Strength within femininity looks great, and much of that strength is spent in being a terrific wife, even with an imperfect husband. Remember, for the man with 650 ng/ml of testosterone rushing through his blood at any given time, he is not looking for a wife to match his hormones. He is looking for her to be his lover and friend. 

Too much strength shown in the wrong ways is a huge intimacy killer for a man or woman. For to have intimacy one must have trust, dependence and vulnerability. These are great feminine qualities that used to come naturally to most women, but now are protected against by guarded hearts in too many marriages. I think the Bible says all it needs to say about femininity, "a meek and quiet spirit" and "in submission to her husband in everything." This does not mean a mealy-mouthed woman who is afraid to speak her mind. No! Men enjoy a good discussion, and we need our wife to set us straight at times, but we want her speak to us in a ladylike and respectful way.

Only a messed up world says otherwise where the roles and natures of men and women are being blended, all in the name of gender equality. Christian wives are completely equal to their husbands in all things pertaining to personhood, but if we do not play differing roles based on our natural makeup and God given gifts, we lose out on God's best for our marriages and our lives. 

I am married to a very strong minded and strong character woman, but she has learned to harness her strength within her feminine qualities which makes her quite attractive and fun to share a life with her. Man and wife, male and female, two complements of differing strengths and perspectives necessary to raise a wonderful family for God; raising sons and daughters to live out their natural God given gifts of masculinity and femininity for the enjoyment of their spouses.

Let it be the hidden person of the heart,
with the imperishable quality of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is precious in the sight of God.
I Peter 3:4

***The picture is my precious niece, Ali, with her brand new husband, David!
I was just telling Ken that it is interesting how many women want their husbands to adopt feminine qualities {being sensitive and emotional}, yet men want their wives to act like a lady, not like a man.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Was This Abusive Towards Me?

She thinks Ken is abusive towards me since he likes me to stand in church when we're singing! She was responding to the following comment on this post ~

Ken loves to stand up during worship at church while we're singing. I prefer to sit down since my lower back and feet hurt if I stand too long. On Sunday, he stood and I stood up beside him and asked him if he prefers I stand with him. He smiled and said, "Yes." I then whispered why I don't like to stand long. Later, we talked about it and he told me that I was welcome to sit down after a minute or two if I start to hurt at all, but he does like me standing beside him. So I decided I will stand now whenever he stands. My desire is to be a submissive wife and even if I'm not perfect yet, I am a lot better than I use to be!

Here is the woman's comment concerning Ken's supposed "abuse" of me ~

There is such a thing as 'just saying no' to such a ridiculous request to make you stand until you are in pain. Yes---it is ridiculous. If MY husband had made that request I would have questioned if he really loved me!! That is abuse!! In a marriage, respect for both partners is a must. Sounds like your husband does not respect you or your pain or he would not ask you to do something that would make you hurt when you could simply sit all the time. At MY CHRISTIAN church, if one of the marriage partners has health issues, he or she remains seated the whole service---we would not THINK or even consider asking that partner to stand just because WE wanted them to stand. Good heavens!

Let's say she is right, (although she is dead wrong!), and I take her advice. I refuse to obey my husband since it is uncomfortable for me to stand many minutes and I'm now angry with him because he's abusive, doesn't respect me AND probably doesn't love me according to her! Do you think this advice will strengthen our marriage or harm it? Do you think this is good advice to give to another Christian woman when you disagree with something her husband is asking her do? How does this uplift her or edify her marriage? All this kind of counsel does is damage the marriage as it serves no healthy purpose but to cause further upset and division. Also, the word abuse here is WAY over used when there is NO abuse at all.

My friend, Sandy, just called me and discussed the same post with me about the woman who refused to obey her husband and sit down when he asked her. She said it all comes down to original sin. We don't like anyone telling us what to do. We want to do what we want to do, period. We want to go our own way and not listen to the commands of the Lord. Ironically, Ken never even told me to stand with him. I was the one to ask him if he liked it. But when I ask, he says Yes and I want to please him; the world of abuse arrives at our doorstep. Just from a simple "Yes."

Let me make this very clear. This is NOT abusive! Ken has never abused me and has never come close to doing anything that is abusive. He never swears, rarely if ever raises his voice, and never has done anything where I might fear him. He is an honorable man of God who I trust completely to look out for my best interests over his own. His daily sacrifices for me are evident everywhere, so to sacrifice a little to please him seems only right. 

Therefore, women, whenever you are mentoring other women about their marriage, DO NOT attack their husbands and put them down, especially when you have only one side of the story. It does nothing to improve the marriage and only makes it worse since the wives can do nothing to change their husband's behavior. Most definitely never throw around the inflammatory word "abuse" unless it is truly abusive. No counselor throws fuel on a fire, but instead tries to move the spouse they are working with to a point where they can positively impact the marriage. 

You will never change a husband or marriage by inserting your sense of right and wrong into another person's marriage. If I saw nothing wrong with Ken answering me truthfully, why would anyone try to make him into an abusive husband in my mind? Let's get something straight about what God demands of a believer; if we want to please God by being godly wives we must be willing to sacrifice, especially in the little things of life to please our husbands. After all, is this not what we hope and pray our husbands are doing for us each and every day? From Jesus' own words ~

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

So next time you hear a wife say something you think is unfair or unkind about her husband, work on her attitudes and behaviors according to the Word of God and what it teaches. Help her to focus on her husband's good qualities and the sacrifices he makes for her, not on his faults. Then encourage her with I Peter 3:1 ~ Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives {I Peter 3:1}.