Wednesday, September 30, 2015

With Every Baby God Sends a Loaf of Bread

This grandma says, "Bravo! And if I may say something about waiting for children; my experience is that, in hindsight, one should be open to children always because there may never be a 'later.' One of you may become ill, or you may not have a long fertility window in your physical make-up, or a million other reasons. Getting pregnant is more difficult with each passing year. That is best done on God's schedule. And don't ever let money worries stop you from having children. There is an old saying 'with every baby God sends a loaf of bread.'"

This was a comment on Danielle’s post, "Are We Accepting Society's Norm?" which is a great post, by the way. I love this grandma’s comment! If we would not have waited, we probably would have another child since soon after I had Cassi, I became very ill and could not have any more children. Our children are, BY FAR, our greatest joy in life! Ryan, my oldest son, and his wife, Erin, just had their third baby. The baby was sleeping on my chest the other day; there is nothing more precious than the smell and feel of a newborn baby! It was touching watching Erin holding her baby and not being able to take her eyes off of her; it never gets old! Then baking cookies with my other two grandchildren was a joy beyond comparison as the two year old kept saying to me, "You're so funny!" I admit that this is NOT something said often about me! 

For all of you women who can’t have children, I know you mourn deeply. God is with you in your pain and we can trust Him in His providence over our lives. One of the many tragedies about abortion is that for all of the infertile couples, those aborted babies would have been happily adopted by these couples. Instead of being adopted into good homes, they are brutally murdered and women who desire a baby grieve.

For all of you who can have children, stop listening to what society and even your family say is best for you. Listen to what God says are blessings from Him! He created marriage for families. He wants godly couples to raise godly offspring. Every single baby is formed in the womb by Him.

Many worry about the expense. If you nurse your baby for a long time, use cloth diapers and don’t buy them all the latest gadgets, they are not expensive to raise. This is an area where we MUST trust God for He is our Creator and Sustainer. Even homeschooling can be inexpensive. Use the library to check out good books for your children to read and have them read a lot and do math. All other subjects will come easy to them if they are good readers and know math. Live simply and train them to be content with what they have. What they want most is a home with a mother and father who love them and each other.

On a news program, they showed a video of a little boy going off for his first day of kindergarten. Someone asked him if he’d miss his mom and he said, “No.” However, after thinking about it for a few seconds, he began bawling his eyes out. I don’t think children should be separated from their mother for hours every day. Yes, my children went to public school when they were young but as I have grown older, I don’t see the wisdom in this. On this same program, they were also discussing the stress children are under in the fall when they have to go back to school with the bullying and competition that takes place in every single school.

Now that schools have departed so far from our values and teach things contrary to them, it makes no sense to send our children to public school all day, all week long for many years. God gave these children to us to raise in the nurture and the admonition of Him, not strangers whom many know not Him.

When I asked the women in the chat room why they homeschool, Melissa from Far Above Rubies responded, "We do homeschool, and I have lately had in my heart another reason why. It goes back to how Jesus was tempted. Satan said {and I paraphrase}, 'Throw yourself down from here...He will save you.' Jesus replied, 'Thou shalt not test the Lord thy God.' I have heard the Lord saying to me that one reason He wants us to homeschool is because we may believe He can save us from a corrupt world, and He sure can but that we are not to test Him with the hearts and souls of our children. We know the commands of God about teaching and training our children are to PARENTS, not to anyone else. And it would be testing Him to 'throw them down' to wolves in any environment. That is our conviction, and a very deep word to me from the Lord that I have not shared with anyone before."

Here are some wise words to ponder. Instead of listening to what the world is telling you, listen to the Savior of your soul. If God sends you the blessings of children, trust Him to help you to provide for them and raise them up to become God-fearing adults.

But my God shall supply all your need according 
to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Eight Things Godly Wives Should Do!

Here is a list of eight things godly wives should learn to do!

They need to learn to cook. In order to have nourishing food for your family, you must learn to cook. You also need to study nutrition and ways to keep the body healthy. Fixing food from scratch at home is much healthier than going out to eat where you have no idea what is going into your food. It is also the cheapest way to eat healthy.

They also need to learn to clean. There was an article out recently that found that clutter leads to depression in women. God is a God of order and beauty. When there is too much clutter, it means you are too attached to worldly possessions. We don't need so much stuff. Get rid of the stuff you don't use. Learn to clean with non-toxic cleaners. Train yourself to keep your home neat and tidy.

She can learn to fix his plate. My daughter, Cassi, loves to fix Ryan his plate. She asks him what he wants and she fixes it just like he likes it. Every night, I fix Ken's salad with all the fixings just like he likes it. It is a simple way to serve our husbands and remember that the greatest of all is the servant of all. If Jesus could wash His disciples feet, you can serve your husband!

A godly woman watches her mouth. No unwholesome word comes out of it. She learns to tame her tongue. She definitely doesn't use foul language and she is learning to think before she speaks. She works on speaking words of life and encouragement to others and about them.

We should also compliment our husbands. We should be their biggest cheerleaders. We aren't called to put them in their place but to build them up. They care more about our opinions than anybody else's. I have to tell you, I am not very good at this, but I am getting better since I truly do appreciate him so much!

Take good care of yourself and look nice for your man. Men are very visual and most enjoy seeing their wives look good. Way too many women don't care how they look anymore. Do the best with what you have been given. Also, make sure you are modest in what you wear; the money you spend on clothes shouldn't be excessive and the clothes need to cover your body. 

Finally, to sum it all up, I love these words of Nancy Campbell,  "Many mothers seek to be fashionable mothers, trendy mothers, career mothers, or fitting in with the world mothers, but we have a great need for holy mothers. To be a holy mother is not so popular, but holy mothers are powerful mothers. Without holy mothers we will not have holy children. Without holy children and holy homes we cannot have holy churches. And without holy churches we definitely will not have a holy nation."

Who can find a virtuous woman? 
for her price is far above rubies.
Proverbs 31:10
photo source

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Godly Woman is a Disciplined Woman

Fractured relationships. Affairs. Broken Marriages. STDs. Addictions. Abortions. Debt. Eating Disorders. We often hear heartbreaking stories from women who've crashed and burned. And usually, it's because they've had some sort of "brake failure" {lack of discipline} in their lives.*

Are you a disciplined woman or do you struggle in this area? Did you know that one of the fruits of the Spirit living inside of you is self-control? Therefore, you have full access to self-control! It is this simple, we all wish.

We aren't perfect and never will be while we are on this earth but since we know that the God of the universe lives mightily within us, we have everything we need for life and godliness. Now it is a matter of believing this. In the meantime, we need to work hard to become the women of God that He calls us to be so we don't blaspheme His Word.

I saw a poster with these words being shared in Facebook; "I leave my house messy so that when my friends visit, they leave feeling way better about their own housekeeping skills. Yep, I'm that good of a friend! Just saying."

This type of attitude is shared by many in our nation today. A friend was visiting me today and sharing with me how so many of her youngest daughter's friends have so little self-control and their parents have no idea what to do about it. 

A lack of self-control and discipline is usually due to not being trained as a child to have self-control. If you allow your child to be lazy, they will probably grow up to be lazy. If you don't discipline your child consistently and properly, they will probably struggle with it all of their lives. Therefore, make sure you discipline and train your children in this important area.

What if you are a grown woman who wasn't trained to be disciplined so you greatly lack it in your life. The Bible says to confess it and pray for it to be healed. Therefore, if you struggle in keeping your home clean and tidy, I don't care how many "methods" you try, they will fail without discipline. You need to have accountability in your life in this area. Figure out three things that you are going to insist upon doing every day such as make your bed and before you go to bed at night, make sure the kitchen is clean and the home picked up. Begin teaching your children now to help you and try making it a game with them. They will thank you one day.

A True Woman knows how to exercise restraint and how to make wise, intentional choices in her habits and daily routines. Those disciplines and choices flow out of a heart and mind that are under the Spirit's control. The grace of God and the work of Christ on the cross give the I-will power to say "yes" to the good, and the I-won't-power to say "no" to the bad.*

Believe that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. One of the most important disciplines you can gain is to spend some daily time in the Word and in prayer.
Discipline is a good and powerful gift from our loving Father. He wants us to use our disciplined lives to glorify Him. 

I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, 
after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:27

Watch the accompanying video on discipline HERE.

*True Woman 201: Interior Design—Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood, ©2015 by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission of Moody Publishers. You can buy the book HERE.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Who Shall Be Damned?

There's a lot of confusion today concerning who will and who will not inherit eternal life. Many people have decided to write their own Bible and decide that everyone will be saved from damnation. What does the Bible have to say about this?

That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness {2 Thessalonians 2:12}.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness…who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator {Romans 1:18, 25}.

Fornicators, adulterers…shall not inherit the kingdom of God 
{1 Corinthians 6:9, 10}.

From these verses we learn that those who will not receive eternal life and be damned are those who know the Truth, yet reject it and continue to live in sin. Yes, all anyone needs to do for eternal life is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, but faith without works is dead. If you say you believe, but continue to live contrary to the word of God, you are showing by your life that you don’t believe. If you truly love the Lord, you will want to continually be growing in the wisdom and knowledge of Him so you won’t blaspheme His Word through disobedience.

God’s Word is being watered down by many and they tragically believe that those who seek pleasure and satisfying their lusts will receive eternal life. This is a blatant lie and is contrary to what God’s Word says.

There was a great discussion going on in the comment section of Are Babies Born Sinful? I do believe babies and children will receive eternal life because their little minds don’t understand the Gospel clearly and therefore, can’t reject it. As they grow older and learn about it, but continue to choose to disobey it and instead satisfy their lusts and evil desires, thus denying the God who created them, then they will be held accountable before God. If they never repent of their evil deeds, then they are in danger of eternal damnation.

We must never water down Truth to make it more acceptable in this wicked generation. We must care more for the souls of those around us since we know, without a doubt, that our soul is safe in the arms of Jesus. Be bold in speaking truth in love; for God’s Word is powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, and has the ability to convict and cause others to repent and truly believe through the Holy Spirit's conviction and work in their life. As soon as someone repents and believes, God’s mighty Spirit enters them and they can then do all things through Christ who strengthens them!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Miss Lloyd the Midwife

Miss Lloyd delivered over 3,000 babies. She delivered all seven of my Grandmother's babies. She delivered the babies of three of my Aunts. While a baby was entering this world, she would be praying out loud on her knees. Then she would care for the mother and baby for three to four days afterwards; feeding and caring for mother and child. My Aunt couldn't remember her losing one baby or mother due to negligence. Many OBGYNs would call her for advice. If there was trouble during the labor of a baby she was delivering, she'd know exactly when to take her to the hospital. Can you imagine having such an incredible midwife to deliver your baby?

This was common those many years ago. Women would deliver their babies in the comfort of their own homes with no interventions. Babies would be born when they were ready to enter the world and not before. There were no ultrasounds and many tests during pregnancy to determine the sex and health of the baby. I didn't know the sex of any of my babies until they were born! Even if there had been something wrong with one of them, I would not have had an abortion. Things happened much more naturally back then.

For instance, I had no idea that all pregnant women have to drink a sugary drink for a glucose test. Biodynamic Wellness wrote this recently about this test, Sugar water? Actually GMO corn starch, soybean oil and food coloring. Is this necessary? Pregnant women are given this on an empty stomach for glucose tolerance testing. This often leads to a severe drop in blood sugar, putting the pregnant woman into a very stressful metabolic state. Ironically, this dangerous test is mostly reserved for pregnant women. Instead request the casual plasma glucose test, in which a sample of blood is drawn without regard of the time of the last meal or the content of that meal. No fasting is required nor are you subjected to the highly sweetened drink (which is very difficult on a diabetic). If you show symptoms, have a casual plasma glucose test or the hemoglobin A1c test. Avoid the stressful oral glucose tolerance test and make a serious effort to get your blood sugar under control safely. We at Biodynamic Wellness can help you control your blood sugar and support you if you have gestational diabetes."

I realize hospitals have saved MANY lives, including mine which I am very thankful for, and most husbands want their wives to deliver in the hospital but it seems the medical profession has gone overboard in the area of pregnancy and birth; treating it as an illness rather than a natural and healthy process. I would have loved having my baby in my home with a godly midwife like Miss Lloyd who would have encouraged me during labor and cared for me a few days after having my babies but I am thankful I had four healthy babies. I just encourage you to explore your options and all the tests they want to give to you while pregnant to see it they are really necessary or simply to protect the doctors and hospitals from lawsuits, which I don't blame them, by the way.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Psalm 139:14

Friday, September 25, 2015

Encouraging Each Other in Our Sin?

She has a blog with a HUGE following. She wrote about driving to church and getting in an argument with her husband about disciplining the children. Then she admitted that we are all like this; we sin and are far from perfect. I commented about not arguing and how my husband and I argued for 20 years and now we rarely argue. Then all the other comments from this blog thanked this women for being real because they are were like her and argued with their husbands. I was at a Bible Study years ago and one of the women admitted that she is so undisciplined; she eats way too much and her home is a mess. Then the leader of the group said, "Oh yes, I struggle with anger. It just seems to get the better of me many times." Everyone admitted all of their failures and sins with each other.

So is THIS what the Christian life is supposed to look like? Admitting all of our sins and failures becomes our greatest encouragement to others? If an unbeliever is listening to all this artificial Christian encouragement, what would they think of the power of the Spirit of God to change lives? What would make them want to become a Christian??? YES, we are called to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other that we may be healed, not talk about all of our sins and act like there's nothing we can do about it! And I doubt very much that this was the confession setting James was referring to where we all get together and commiserate over our times of dabbling in, or wallowing in, the mud of fleshly sins.    

Paul wrote two long letters in the New Testament to the church at Corinth. They were the most messed up church in the NT. Near the beginning of his second book he wrote, Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life {2 Corinthians 2: 14, 15}. Then Paul says that he does not corrupt the Word of God but he teaches it boldly, for God's Word is the ONLY thing that convicts of sin, and frees us from sin that we may walk in holiness.

Others should be drawn to our lives for our sweet aroma of life. They should be able to see Jesus in all that we do. Yes, we will stumble but it is NOT where we will stay or wallow anymore since we are triumphant in Christ! We should be encouraging, exhorting and rebuking others to walk in obedience to the Lord;  in the grace that He has so abundantly provided by giving us His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us! 

Do you realize that the New Testament writers rarely focused on talking about sin in a Believer's life, but instead focused mainly upon our New Life in Christ, dead to sin and alive to Christ Jesus. They challenged the Believer to "put on the New Man" and to "walk in righteousness;" a far cry from what far too many Christians believe, or encourage each other with in our groups. We are NEVER called to encourage each other in our sin as so many do today. This accomplishes NOTHING good except for everyone to feel better about their sin since everyone else does it. Only one time in Romans 7 did the apostle Paul do this, and he was probably referring to his life before he was saved. Imagine Paul sitting around in a Bible study shaking his head and saying, "yes sister Sue, I sin every day." No way! Paul was all about daily victory over sin, not woe is me for I am failing too, like you. 

We are called saints and the children of the most high God. Now we must stop focusing on our sins and start focusing on walking in these new realities of our life in Christ. You will get what you think about most in life, so if our mind is focused on sin, we will sin, but if we focus upon the promises of God that we are indeed free from sin, we can learn to walk as Jesus walked. Therefore, encourage each other towards godliness and obedience to the Lord, and be no longer in bondage to sin. Encourage each other in righteous living, not that we have arrived, but that we press on for the prize in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Getting Bored Being Home Full-time?

You're finally home full-time. Your husband got on board with your deep desire to be home and now you're finding yourself a bit bored. What should you do? This was a topic on another post and I had suggested the following ~

Start a garden; try quilting, crocheting, or sewing; raise chickens if you have space; do some writing; putter in the kitchen; play with the children; work on crafting projects and quietly mind your own home. To attain a gentle and quiet spirit, we must not only seek to be transformed in our interior lives, but work on our exterior life in such a way that we cultivate a more peaceful existence. This should begin in the home.

In the comment section, a woman asked, "Do you see them as being part of the primary function, or just something to occupy women while they are engaged in their primary function if they have some spare time {for example, to keep busy while a baby naps}?"

Then Robin, who has four little ones at one responded this way ~

I'm thinking these are things that can be done to include children as well. What a wonderful teaching opportunity there is in gardening, sewing, cooking and raising animals. There is no reason that even very young children would not want to be involved in any of these activities, in my opinion. In fact, prior to the industrial revolution, children were involved in all of these activities in and around the home and saw these things as aspects of normal daily living. 

When I first began to stay home, I wondered what in the world to do all day with children. This is due in part to having been raised by a mother who worked full-time outside of the home. I had no idea how to just "be" at home and also due to society which teaches us that home is a place to "crash" and sleep, then go out and work again; not a place of continual rest and replenishment. 

Many children in our neighborhood have no idea what simply "being" at home means, and they cannot wait to get out the door again after they're off the school bus. They don't see the home as a place where we exist in relationship with each other; they want to wander away from home because home isn't "fun" and fulfilling. I believe that if we live simply and just slow down by going back to basic things like Lori's suggestions for home making, it not only gives us productive work to do with our hands and teaches our children to be productive and unselfish {giving their part in the family}, but it also shows them that home is about relationship, first and foremost. Everything done is done together, in relationship, which each person contributing toward the goals of the family. 

I think there is much more to the suggestions in Lori's post than simply being busy during the day. The purpose, in my opinion, is to further show the children the meaning of family and home, the meaning of hard work, the meaning of production, the meaning of doing for others and for family, and most importantly, the meaning of being in relationship with others.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, 
and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Do You Have the Syndrome of an Inappropriate Critical Spirit?

The syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion or SIADH is an issue that Lori and I became all too familiar with the past three days. After experiencing some of the best health weeks Lori has had in years, ten days ago Lori began feeling burning pain in her legs that moved up to her neck, and then, as it often does, her stomach became inflamed. Things got so bad that the pain reached a 10 out of 10 at one point and she could not walk well so we headed for the emergency room.

It only took about an hour to get into an ER bed, and another ninety minutes later to discover that Lori had a sodium level of 110, with critical considered between 110-130. She got about as low as you can get, although I find it a bit ironic that more people die of sodium levels between 120-130 than they do down at 110. The reason is that although sodium levels are critical in the body, it is really the underlying cause of the low sodium that kills more than the low sodium itself.  In Lori’s case, the reason for the low sodium is most likely the pain and nausea she was experiencing combined with a potentially faulty pituitary that still seems to be running like the energizer bunny in spite of being smashed by a walnut-sized tumor that has been hit with many packets of radiation. The multiple doctors we went to to get an opinion on her Cyber Knife therapy all said that the pituitary will die off in less than a year, and the doctor we chose was the one who gave us hope by saying, “I don’t think it will die. I don’t plan on hitting it with radiation” and he mathematically programmed into the huge robot x-ray to miss the pituitary by just 3-4 mm away from the tumor behind her nose at the base of the brain. Now two years later the little vital gland is still working.

You are somewhat up to date and Lori is home and safe, taking salt tablets daily, and the pain has been kicked down to a 2-3 with all the IV pain killers she was on. But this is just the bridge to what I really want to address today.

Lori and I were talking about another syndrome which is quickly incipient as it creeps up on a person ever so gradually, like the loss of sodium in the body. I have named this syndrome SIACS, or Syndrome of an Inappropriate Critical Spirit. Do you realize that Christians are amongst the most critical people in the world? And worse yet, it seems that Christian wives are often hypercritical of their husbands compared to unbelievers and I think I know some reasons why. One reason may be that unbelievers do not hold to the high standards of Christianity. So take an issue like their husbands look at porn and they might laugh, or participate in it with him. Someone once wrote that Christian men are far more addicted to porn than unbelievers, yet no unbeliever has the struggle because they don’t have to give it up. It's never their greatest battle as they just give in to it. Beyond this, I think unbelievers often have much lower expectations for a spouse in marriage. They are looking for more of a “best friend with privileges” relationship than the Biblical ideal of a “oneflesh” marriage.

For many women, of course not all, their biggest battle seems to be on two fronts: the battle for control, and the battle with the tongue.  A critical spouse can really dominate the other spouse with their words, and husbands are no exception to this. When one spouse can keep the other spouse on edge with their critical words, they can be in control of the relationship. I spent too many years of my marriage trying to avoid the critical words of my wife, and she spent too many years listening to me fire off a series of unkind remarks when I felt I was under her critical scrutiny. Neither of us were enjoying the other because we suffered from SIASC. Interesting, neither of us were critical people, except towards each other. How can it be that the person we say we love the most in the whole world we can be most critical of?

Just like with Lori’s disease there can be a number of underlying reasons why someone might have a critical or hypercritical spirit. You know the people I am talking about, but far too often these people don’t realize that they themselves are critical people. Ask yourself these questions concerning how you deal with your spouse, your family, your co-workers, and friends:

Do you give out more than 2-3 critical comments a week?
Are your critical comments intended to be helpful and loving, or cutting and unkind?
Do you feel an uncontrollable urge at times to regularly correct people? {Of course you believe it is for their benefit!}
Do you find yourself overlooking smaller offenses or do you need to correct them all, or at least make a comment about the offense to insure the person that Critical Cathy is watching?

"Do you have to put so much butter on your toast?"
"Isn’t that the third time you have had ice cream this week?"
"When is your pig’s sty of an office going to be cleaned up?"
"What happened to the man who used to love to stay in shape? Did I lose him to Fox Sports?"
"You never help around the home … never show me affection… and you’re lazy!"

One sure way of knowing that you have a critical or controlling nature is that once you have given the critical comment, which at first may be accurate, or even helpful, but now you are like a dog with a rag in its mouth. You will pull on that rag mercilessly until you get the other person to relent, or better yet until they give you an apology. Do you find your spouse regularly crawling back to apologize to you to get the relationship back on track? Bingo! You probably have SIACS.

One of the worst symptoms of SIACS is that it excretes the hormone IHTBR {I have to be right}. You can't just say something once and drop it. No, you know better than your spouse, and even if he or she has  a four year graduate degree in the subject matter, you have to be right about the discussion. The crazy thing is that these people are often right, but they fail to understand that just because they are right does not mean that they can make other’s live their way of life. Worse yet is they who know it all who don't practice what they preach. This IHTBR hormone results in critical words that are intended to manipulate and control so that they can get their way. The silliest of things can be a battle for supremacy over your spouse, or others.

As you can see, SIASC is a disease process, and there are few who are immune to excreting some of this critical hormone. We need some of the hormone to have healthy relationships as we need to be a little critical of another person we love with healthy admonistions for their own good. Healthy criticism should be seen as our best friend in that we can only change the things we are aware of. If I am unaware that I am a critical person, I can never change it. So someone has to love me enough to come along side of me and gently admonish me, and if that doesn’t work, maybe rebuke will. Both these cures are Biblical, so don’t believe that we are never to give appropriate feedback. But there is a healthy range, and that range should be in proper balance, just as sodium is to water in the blood to keep the cells and electrical system properly functioning. 

It is said that the healthy balance of kind and uplifting words to critical comments should be 10 to 1. How are you doing with that? Does your spouse get 10 kind remarks for each negative remark you give? Now I will offer that because 93% of communications is said to be non-verbal; every big smile you give, every kind touch, and every kind deed you do for your spouse gets counted as a positive to balance out the one negative. Yet remember every cross look, every frown, and every unthoughtful deed you do gets counted as a negative.

So how diseased are you? How much of an Inappropriate Critical Spirit do you have towards your spouse and others? Lori and I may be wrong, but we believe we are seeing an epidemic of SIASC amongst Christian women, and we tend to see it often go into a hyper state of criticism as some get older. We have no scientific proof of this, and a Google search shows no research on this topic, so we are only talking about our limited experience in coaching relationships. Don’t shoot us for sharing our observations, but if you have a severe case of SIASC, I know you won’t be able to stop yourself from being critical over this post. You might be one who even after we give you an answer you don’t like, you will smack us again with another comment, and if we keep responding, you will keep up the criticisms.

What we believe is that the usual causes of SIASC are selfishness, an ungrateful heart, and sometimes jealousy. But the most common root of a hypercritical spirit is bitterness. Something happened in the past where the person got hurt and now their hormone secreting gland sends out the inappropriate signal every time they feel a similar pain, even when the pains are completely disassociated. The last time Lori went into the ER twice for low sodium was after her second brain tumor operation, yet now we find the tumor is not the main cause, but instead a massive amount of pain and nausea will trigger her pituitary to secrete the ADH signaling hormone and tell her kidneys to hold water and expel sodium. Finding out the root of the problem is key to solving it.

A godly husband can try to appropriately correct his wife only to have her feel the sting of criticism she got as a child from a parent, or from a bad set of friends, and then turn into a hurt puppy who snaps, bites and whimpers until he comes with his tail between his legs and apologizes to get the relationship back on track. Is that not what husbands are to do? Suck it up and own it so that the wife can feel better and everything go on happily ever after?  And I am not saying that sometimes husbands do not owe their wife a big apology when they do wrong. But if they find themselves regularly apologizing because she is hurt, they need to analyze if they indeed are wrong, or does my spouse need her SIASC cured.

Bitterness is an awful sin that once it takes root it is almost impossible to uproot without going into the ER and ICU. Once hurt, the SIASC is flowing profusely, yet all the while the person themselves seems above it all. They can go on and on with one critical comment after another, leading the gossip train into a path of destruction, and yet they are convinced that they themselves had nothing but good intentions. You see this many times in the workplace where the biggest gossiper is the one who is hypercritical in private one-on-one talks and then you have a team meeting and they act as if others should be more positive, but not them. They have reached critical levels of SIASC and without the Great Physician's healing power, they are doomed to destroy their lives and the relationships around them.

This post is simply intended to get the reader to think about their own life and see if they have a good balance of critical comments to kind remarks, smiles and good deeds; or if they are in a critically diseased state. If you can honestly look at your life and say that you are not regularly critical of anyone, then you are living a healthy Christian life. If you find you are critical of just one or two people in your life, ask yourself where the root of bitterness began and seek the Lord’s help, along with your spouse’s help to work back through things to come to some good conclusions. Ideally, you can forgive and let the bitterness go, moving forward towards a healthy set of relationships.

If you are one of those who needs intensive care and you are hypercritical every day, and the littlest of things sets off your mouth to inflict criticism or pain with cutting words, then realize that you need to run to the emergency room before it is too late. Although we know it is never too late for healing from the Great Physician, we also know that those who carry such bad fleshly habits into their later years in life tend to find those habits exacerbated five and ten times worse than when they were younger. If you are critical now, no one will want to be around you when you are in your seventies. Your disease will damage your nerves and brain cells to the point where you become a dipping faucet of negativity. It’s the nature of any sin left unchecked that it will own us.

Let us thank the Lord that He has given us the gift of a New Life, so we may be dead to sin and alive to Christ Jesus our Lord. But there is one catch if you want to experience your New Life here on earth before you get to heaven, and that is that you must reach out and grab a hold of it by faith. If you doubt that you can be cured of your sins, or your critical nature, then barring an extra miracle, God may allow you to suffer the consequences of your lack of faith. He promises that EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness are right at our finger tips, and yet to experience a God filled life we must simply believe on His promises. Oh yes, He grants us to experience many of His promises even when we lack faith, but His desire is that we would grow up, and put on the New Man, and walk in His ways and promises so that we can participate with His Spirit in the mighty work that He wants to do in our lives. Let’s do as He says and put off being critical of others and instead say and do only those things that build up and are kind to our spouse, and those who are in the body of Christ. 

The only hormone that can properly regulate SIACS is an abundance of thanksgiving coursing through our thoughts and words. Let’s carry our thankful spirit to our friends, family and workplace so that all may see that the Spirit of the living God is regulating our lifeblood, and controlling our lives. If He lives in us, how can we be critical of others, especially our spouse?

Put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness… Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:24, 29-32

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Asking Him in a Godly Feminine Way

Ken and I were watching television together one night, I turned to him and said, "Turn down the volume, please, " Then, I was convicted that we shouldn't demand anything from our husband, but instead ask in a respectful way like, "Can you please turn down the volume?" I must learn to ask him things instead of command him to do things. 

Most women are very good at telling their husbands what to do; after all, we are the ones in charge of the homes. However, we must always remember that God made the husband the head of the wife and in charge. We must NEVER treat him as a child but respect him as our husband.

Most men HATE being ordered by their wives since essentially it is showing disrespect, yet they put up with it in order to try and keep peace in the home or they grew up with a mother who bossed their father around, so they think it it is normal. Our desire will be to control our husband but their God-given position is one of head honcho in the home.

Therefore, women, we must learn to train ourselves to stop controlling or demanding our husbands in any way, even in the way we ask them to do things for us. Commands from wives are insulting to a man since it is just another way to try to control them as if wives have the right to control their husbands! We can absolutely ask them to do something for us without ordering them around. If they don't do what you have asked in a respectful way or they forget, don't get upset!

Learning to be a godly, submissive wife does not come naturally to the majority of us. Yes, some preachers preach that wives need to be submissive to their husbands but the majority of women have no idea what that looks like practically; I know I sure didn't. This is why God commands that older women teach the young women how to love and obey their husband. It doesn't just mean in the big things such as where we're going to live, but in all the little day-to-day things also. It has to do with our body language, tone of voice, the words we speak and the way we look at our husband; including the way we ask our husbands for something. There needs to be time spent teaching young women since it encompasses so many areas, including areas in my own life along the way!

Let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Godly Woman Has a Deep Affection for Her Family

All I ever wanted while I was growing up was to be a wife and mother. I was raised after the 60s when the feminist's movement was in full swing and college with a career was what we were supposed to pursue. I didn't want that at all but I did go to college, taught a few years and then was able to be home full-time raising children and keeping my home. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. My mom was always a full-time mom and homemaker.

The Bible doesn't say that older women are to teach the young women to go to college and have careers. Did you ever think it was because God has different plans for women than what society does? It never tells us to have a career just "in case." This is not God's plan for women. You can find no command in the Bible that tells women to pursue this path.

I love the teachings of Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She has always been a single women, although she is getting married soon. Being single wasn't her plan, but the Lords and sometimes His plan is this for women but for, by far, the majority. He wants them to have a DEEP affection for the home and family, including having children. Having children, you see, isn't about you and it isn't about them. It's about Him, our heavenly Father. We have children because we are made in His image, in the likeness of Him, who told us to be fruitful and multiply. We create because we are like our Creator. Among other good things, it is what we are normally called to do in this world, barring a special calling from God.*

While reading this chapter, I felt like I didn't even need to read it since I LOVE teaching this topic and have for many years! It's so wonderful to hear it from others. I realize some women will never marry or have children but it doesn't mean you don't have an affection for home and family. There are many ways, if you are single or barren,  that you can still minister to in your own home and to other young women who need help.

Though Macmillan and other  dictionaries may come up with new, different definitions, it is not up to dictionaries; nor is it up to us to define what man, woman, husband, wife, and marriage mean. God created these things. He dictates what they mean.* 

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:3-5

HERE  is the video for this session.

*True Woman 201: Interior Design—Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood, ©2015 by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission of Moody Publishers. You can buy the book HERE.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Plant Seeds of Truth in Those Living in Sin

If people are living in sin, should we point out their sin or should we just love them? Many just think that by loving others, they will come to know Jesus. Are we called to simply love others no matter what they are doing? Are we judging others if we tell them that what they are doing is sin? We need to love all of those God puts in our path since the only way people will listen to what we say is if they feel loved by us BUT we need to point out their sin, also. Unbelievers don't think they need a Savior unless they recognize their sin, admit it and see their need to be delivered from their sin by the same power that raised Christ from the grave.  

However, the most important Truth you need to give those living in sin is the Gospel. It is, by far, the most powerful tool for convicting others of their need for repentance. Preach Jesus, His life, His miracles, His death, but mostly His resurrection and conquering death. Explain that He lived a sinless life and paid the penalty for every sin ever committed for all of those who call upon His name. Many times, this is all they need to hear to be convicted of their sin.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul is speaking to a messed up church. They are in desperate need of Truth. In the fourteenth chapter, he is teaching them about speaking in tongues and let's them clearly know that teaching Truth that others can understand is WAY more important than speaking in tongues. "But if all prophesy {reveal the Word of God}, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you." People won't come to understand Truth and what Christ accomplished on the cross unless Christians are willing to preach Christ and Him crucified. Yes, love them deeply in the process but always speak Truth in love, including God's hatred of sin.

Our society is all about tolerance as long as you don't speak God's Truth. So many say that "morality can't be legislated." I have heard this phrase over and over again. Of course it can! If it could not, we wouldn't be able to legislate murder, theft, child pornography, etc. Those who repeat this phrase are simply saying it to allow all people to be as sexually immoral as they want.

It used to be that everyone knew it was wrong to sleep with someone before marriage. Now it is completely accepted! There used to be a sense of guilt when a couple had sex outside of marriage, now it is celebrated. This is the way it is with many sexual sins now and we are just suppose to sit around and say NOTHING??? No! Speak the Truth in love. It is NOT judging someone to let them know that what they are doing is wrong. You wouldn't feel bad saying this to a murderer or thief, why should it be any different with any other sin?

Jesus told the woman at the well who had slept with many men to go and "sin no more." Paul commands the same thing to the church in Corinth, "Awake to righteousness and sin not" {1 Corinthians 15:34}.We are also commanded to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them {Ephesians 5:11}. We should not be entertained by what those living in sin are doing but expose their sin and even call it sin. And no, exposing sin isn't judging others, it's speaking Truth and life into their lives. The Bible never teaches us to love the sinner but never speak of their sin to them!

God takes sin VERY seriously and so should we. Mass destruction is in store for all those who do not repent of their deeds and call upon the name of the Lord. So what if you offend some? Who cares? Isn't there eternal soul worth more than offending them? If they won't listen, at least you have planted seeds of Gospel Truth and this is all that you are responsible for. Oh, and by the way, no one will be happier by living in sin. Never.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The ONLY Thing that Should Sever a Christian Marriage

{My name is Dennis Marks from Meridian, MS. I am jail chaplain at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility, affiliated with Good News Jail and Prison Ministry. I have been married to my *onliest* wife, Linda, for 31 years. We have seven children and six grandchildren with one on the way. Linda is a stay-at-home mom and we homeschool all our children. One of our favorite things is to get together every Friday night for “Family Night” for all who can come. Interesting fact: Two of our sons married sisters so all their children are double first cousins.}

What is going on in our American culture? Marriage has been “redefined” by the highest court in the land. Christians are being mocked as some have slid into deep, sinful passions and have brought disgrace to the Church and Christian families. When Josh Dugger said, “I am the biggest hypocrite!” there were probably many others who read that and were condemned by their own consciences. In case you haven’t noticed, marriage in America has been on the skids for quite some time. The LGBT…{add the rest of the letters if you care to} community is not the primary reason for the destruction of marriage in America. I believe the Christian Community has done a very good job of destroying the image of marriage for our world in very serious ways.

Kim Davis, county clerk in Kentucky, who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to “gay couples”, is herself on her fourth marriage. I really appreciate her determination to live by her convictions under a lot of pressure, but one disappointed couple quickly pointed out her disrespect for marriage by being on her fourth marriage. Kim was disturbed by that. She never really had control of the conversation after that. Thankfully, Mrs. Davis has indicated that she is sorry for her past, has repented and now desires to live according to the Word of God.

Many conservative politicians seem to have the rhetoric of preserving “traditional” marriage {one man/one woman} but taking a closer look, many have had multiple marriages themselves. How is that respecting traditional marriage? We deserve the ridicule from the heathen who say that we want only biblical marriage but we don’t respect what God has laid out for us in His Word.

You want to start a big argument on a Christian blog? Just start sharing what the Bible says about marriage and you will get some really bad feedback. You get comments: “the exception clause”, “God wouldn’t want us to be unhappy”, “We need to just forgive and move on”.

But God has a lot to say about marriage. It is THE institution that He references for showing His relationship with the Church {salvation}. The Church is the Bride of Christ and He is the Bridegroom. Christ is pictured as a husband loving his wife, paying the bridal price for her, going and preparing a place for her to live with Him in His house. Marriage reveals God’s great salvation plan. We vow to follow Christ and be faithful to Him whatever happens. We must not be found unfaithful before our spiritual consummation in Heaven or God will say, “I never knew you!” {Our relationship has not been fully consummated and you are sent away.}

So let me start the conversation. What is biblical marriage?

Ephesians 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery— but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Marriage cannot be divided without death. If one person physically dies, the one-flesh relationship is over. Breaking this sacred unity is like cutting yourself in half. “Two shall become one.” There is so much more in this passage.

For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress:but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. {Romans 7:2-3}

Paul makes it clear that death is the only severer to Christian marriage. If a person marries another after already being married to someone else, they are committing adultery unless the first spouse dies. {It is clear that this means physical death.}

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. {Matthew 22:30}

Marriage in this life ends with death possibly because we are then actually married to God in eternity.

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives:but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery:and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, all men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
Matthew 19: 3-11

Notice that the Pharisees heard how strict Jesus’ teaching on marriage was to the extent that they wondered if it was even good to get married. Interesting to note is this peculiar “exception clause” that is only found in Matthew’s Gospel. The other two Gospels are almost exactly the same except for the obvious “except it be for fornication”. Matthew included this for a reason but not the one most people think. Matthew was primarily written for Christians coming from the Jewish culture. Jewish couples were “espoused”-something much more serious than even engagement. It was a covenant to complete the marriage process by the Marriage Supper and the consummation of the marriage vows. 

The marriage was only final AFTER the supper/consummation, not before. Remember the relationship of Joseph and Mary. If she had been found to have been unfaithful before the supper/consummation, Joseph could have provided her father with a divorce document and Mary would come to public shame. This is also a great picture of our salvation. We must be faithful to the end to participate in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to finally consummate our relationship with Christ. If we are found unfaithful at the end, God will declare “I never knew you” {haven’t consummated our relationship because of unfaithfulness}.

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts! And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, "Why does he not?" Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. "For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless."
Malachi 2:10-16

This passage deals with those who “profaned” their marriage vows. Malachi says they were “faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers”; very serious language. Malachi declares that they should be “cut off” by the Lord from being considered part of Jacob {God’s people}. What was there offense? They were divorcing their wives.

This is only a short article on Marriage by the Book but you can see that it is serious to God how we treat marriage. We cannot afford to take it lightly. Those cultures that have strayed from God’s design for marriage have paid a heavy price.