34 posts categorized "Submission"

Ready to Graduate

Leslie_2I want to graduate from the unequally yoked club. I bet you do to.

In January of this year, God had me write something important down. He gave me a specific word about my future. Part of what he said was, “this is the year I will do great things in your life.”

Now I will honestly say I knew these “great things” didn’t necessarily mean complete success and all my dreams coming true. I know God well enough to understand that what I consider great and what I want may not necessarily be in agreement with what God is shooting for.

And I’m a firm believer in Romans 8:28. I have no doubts that everything God does has a purpose, nothing is wasted, and anytime we, his children, are included in these events, he always has our best interest at heart. So even faced with a difficult road ahead of us, I know God has a plan, a reason, and I trust him.

But looking back at his words during this time with my daughter has illuminated a new aspect for me. What God considers great can have much deeper ramifications. And more difficulties than we anticipate.

Sometimes “great” has farther-reaching ramifications than we can ever imagine. “Great” then takes on deeper meaning than the casual usage implying better than good. Great can mean significant, important, earth-moving and life changing.

What do we do in those times?

Hang on to God. I can tell you from experience, he’s very faithful. He’s certainly not letting go of you. And if you’re a control freak like me, the best thing you can do is spend a lot of time with him, especially in his Word. The better you know God, the more you will understand his will and find peace in acceptance and trust. God speaks, we just have to listen.

Look beyond ourselves. There’s always a bigger picture there, I promise you. I can look back over the last seven years and see ways God has been moving us to this point, AND preparing us for what we face right now. Those times are significant. Those times were great. Struggles, difficult decisions, set backs, failures—all of these have equipped me to deal with we are facing now. In this viewpoint, I can be grateful to God for all he’s done to get me ready. And I see it’s really not about me. It’s about God and his plan, which he set in place from the beginning, and he’s completely in control of it all and knows the outcome. I can’t do any better than that, so leaving it all in his most capable hands brings me tremendous comfort.

Join God. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned recently regarding ongoing issues is that much more is accomplished when I seek to join God in the process instead of demanding God just fix it and make it go away. Does it seem like God’s not hearing your prayer in a particular situation? Are you praying over and over again for God to change/fix/remove this problem, but nothing’s happening? Change you prayer. Instead of asking God to deal with it for you, ask him how you can be a part of the solution. God doesn’t need our help but he wants us involved as part of our growth. And that growth is what brings us closer to him, allows us to know him better, and even gives us a glimpse of what God has planned in his perfect will.

So much has happened in my family these last few weeks. And we still have more to face. We learned yesterday the tumor is cancerous. She will need more surgery, weeks of radiation, and months of chemotherapy. I know there will be days that I will wonder why God has taken us down this path.

But for now, I’m holding onto God’s promises for my daughter and for my husband. I can see that there is so much more going on than just the visible. God’s allowed this time for a greater reason than ourselves. Lives will be touched and changed. One in particular… God’s presence is being and will be revealed.

I want to be a part of that. I want to walk alongside God and participate as he’s calling me to. The big picture is salvation and relationship to God. That’s what this is all about.

And I can’t wait to see the culmination. I’m ready to graduate.
Praying and believing,
Dineen


The Most Dangerous Prayer

Hi friends! I'm still traveling! Here's a post I wrote in November of 2007 that is still so relevant. :-)

PrayingIt’s birthed in the deepest recesses of our hearts, then moves with our silent yearnings to the hidden places in our thoughts. We dare to think it, until we finally submit and give words to this most dangerous prayer.

“Lord, do whatever it takes to bring my husband/wife to Christ.”

Among the unequally yoked there is an unspoken enormity to this prayer. And we understand the journey it takes deep within ourselves to finally speak it—to pray it with sincerity, knowing full well we have no idea what we may have unleashed. It comes from a place of near desperation and complete trust in God.

We are willing to risk it all.

At times the urgency of this prayer fills me with such desperation that I can hardly breath. And when I am overcome by it, God tells me this is just the minutest fraction of what he feels for my husband.

Can you imagine?

Can you imagine a love that wild and all consuming? Then I realized that God feels that way about us and pursued us then just as He is pursuing our loved ones now. (Talk about really leaving a girl breathless!)

That kind of love never fails. It’s always there, protecting and watching. He’s got our backs. (Isaiah 58:8). We just have to trust him and let go of our expectations, preconceived ideas, and fears. He will equip us to handle whatever comes. (I’m listening to those words as much as you are.)

Amazingly, I’m the one who’s been changed the most by this prayer. At first what I thought to be terribly unfair now appears to be part of a grand plan. A time of preparation. With each pruning, I find myself more and more grateful, and humbled. (There’s hope for me yet.)

Perhaps it makes a difference knowing the outcome—God gave me a glimpse of what’s to come several years ago. Or perhaps it has more to do with how He has strengthened my trust and reliance on him. He’s shown me my fallen-ness. I have no choice.

What are you willing to risk for your unbelieving spouse to know Jesus? What are you willing to pray for that loved one? Are you willing to walk into the unknown realm of God’s will, and trust him completely with the outcome, no matter how you’re affected in the process? It’s a scary question, I know!

When I worry what this prayer will cost me, I remind myself that God will equip me for whatever comes. That’s been the whole point of this time of preparation. And then I remember that He made the greatest sacrifice. He already paid the highest cost of all with his Son. And nothing I could lose can compare to that.

Praying and believing,
Dineen


Would you Change Churches?

I have spending a significant amount of time thinking about church. I am one of the thousands of spouses who pray in hope that my husband will want to attend church.

In our early years, of course, this prayer was completely self-centered. I wanted my man to become a Christian because my life would be simpler. Also, I didn’t want to go to church by myself. Can anyone relate?

I can recall my husband standing in our church sanctuary last year. The band was playing – loudly— and my husband was embroiled in the “hostile” stance. Hands on hips, elbows jutting out, and a look of exasperation on his face as he stared forward. No singing, no participation. He was mad.

I probably coerced the guy into attendance that morning. I looked over at him and could feel the anger emanating from him. Tears sprang into my eyes. I was so upset because he was mad. The morning was a total loss.

Half way through the service my husband could tell I was hurt. We muddled through the motions and left. On the ride home, in a teary voice but honest voice, I released him from attending church and I honestly meant it.

That was the day I completely stopped influencing him into church.

However, I STILL deeply desire my husband to attend church. My reasons are different today than in my selfish years. However, he remains at home on Sundays while I head off for services.

I began asking myself the usual questions. Why doesn’t he like church? If I attended another church, would he go? What makes church attractive to men?

I read the following in Today’s Christian Woman magazine last week:Menrockclimb


Wish your spouse spent Sunday mornings with you? Choose a church with these men-friendly characteristics.

  • Large congregation
  • No denominational affiliation
  • Strict scriptural adherence
  • Young multiracial crowd
  • Authoritative, male pastor
  • Informal dress
  • Modern technology
  • Fun services

    -adapted from How Women Help Men Find God by David Murrow (Thomas Nelson)

    Hmmmmm. This prompts the question, would I be willing to change churches for my spouse’s spiritual growth?

    Your thoughts? Hugs~ Lynn


  • Lessons from the Campground

    Happy Friday!

    I am away this weekend, traveling with my daughter and her Middle School Band. We are competing in San Francisco. I am one of about 10 chaperones who will be on a buss for a total of 16 hours with about 60 middle school boys and girls. I am scared!!! Can any one say a prayer??? *grin*

    I want to share a post with you today that I originally shared at Christian Women Online about a year ago. Our family goes camping a few times a year. Each time I am delighted that God travels with us and never fails to provide me with a life message. To follow is one experience I will never forget. I hope you enjoy,

    Better Than Reality TV

    Friday afternoon we arrived at the campground. We bailed out of the car and began to unload the gear; sleeping bags, cook stove, food bins, and the most dreaded piece of camping equipment known to marriage, the tent.

    This year we brought with us a brand new tent, still in the box. I spied the beast lying on the ground, knowing what must ensue. Looking around I was relived to see the campground was empty with the exception of a retired couple sitting quietly in their lawn chairs in front of their trailer about 100 feet away.

    I approached the box, cut the tape and out slid the biggest pile of nylon and connect-the-sticks I have ever seen. The contraption sleeps ten. Why a family of three needs a tent this size, I still cannot explain.

    Dragging the tent around on the site, I called to my husband for help. Thus the event commenced; the raising of the tent. This is a hotly contested battle of wit and patience between a husband and a wife. If television wanted a truly unrefined reality show, Raise the Tent, would win hands down. Two minutes into the set up, orders were shouted, my husband was obviously blind to the logic of my instructions. This became readily apparent from the look on his face.

    A retort from my frustrated spouse was foreseeable. The sound level increased. I glanced over at older couple who sat smiling at their reading materials, afraid to look up for fear they would break into hysterics.

    Precisely at this moment in all tent-raising events, children mysteriously disappear. My daughter retreated to the creek, suddenly captivated with the rocks at the bottom.

    I lowered my voice but the yelling continued in what I call, snake whisper. It is still yelling just at a hissing level. I am sure some of you can relate. The older couple is no longer watching covertly, they sit mesmerized by our show activity.

    Finally the Holy Spirit became fed up and tapped upon my heart. He reminded me I no longer needed to be in control. In the midst of our squabbling I saw my husband, a gift from God. I saw a man who has made me a better woman. The bickering diminished and the tent went up quickly.

    My husband and I are spiritually mismatched in our marriage and although my husband has yet to discover the truth of Christ for himself, Christ is alive and active in our marriage. Christ’s supernatural power brings us through the arguing, disagreements, and tent construction. I look back upon my marriage journey and see Christ standing with us. He has been working through my nonbelieving husband to smooth my rough edges of selfishness and desire to control.

    My spouse and I are the ultimate odd couple. Our back grounds and beliefs are vastly different, which makes our marriage, our happy and fulfilling marriage, a miracle.

    Handholding

    An hour later, I sat at the picnic table waiting for our friends who were joining us to settle into their campsite. Their daughter wandered over for a chat. I asked her, “Did your mom and dad getting everything set up?”

    She replied, “Yes, but yelling was involved.”

    I laughed out loud knowing God was alive and well in the next campsite!

    1 Peter 3:1-4 (The Message) The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.

    May the God of the Universe be with you this weekend and at every campsight you visit this summer. Be blessed, Lynn


    When Your Best Isn't Good Enough

    I had concluded I was a hindrance to my husband. I was not serving the Lord with all of my heart because I was torn between honoring my husband and obeying the Holy Spirit moving with in me.

    Simple choice? Sounds simple, but wasn’t. You see my husband and me were like fire and kerosene…EXPLOSIVE. Have you every heard the analogy if you smack a horse in the face every time he walks up to you, then when you want to ride and go to put the bridle on him he will resist and run away? That is the way we were. He could give me a look or have that “tone” in his voice and I would automatically go into a defense mode.

    I would start quoting scriptures to him to “prove” that he was failing as a father, husband, and a man. He wanted no part of my “religion.” It was so bad that we would go days and weeks with out talking. We could pass each other in the house and turn our backs so there would not be any eye contact. Yes we even had separate bedrooms. I did not have a marriage…I had a glimpse of hell.

    Why did I stay? The Lord would not give me peace in leaving. I would pray that God would place a godly man in my life so that we could be united as one to serve Him. My co-workers had no idea I was married. This is how separate we were.

    I tried so hard to be that godly wife that wins her husband to the Lord but I had no clue as to how badly I was failing. I was constantly putting him down, telling him all of the wrong things he was doing comparing him to that “perfect” godly husband in my mind. He could not live up to that. No one can!

    God dealt with me about being a godly wife and I wanted to please God, but the harder I tried, the more mistakes I made, and my heart grew colder toward my husband. My faith grew weak. I knew God could save him, but I was a Martha. Martha knew the Lord could have saved Lazarus if he had been there but when it came time to roll the stone away from the grave she said, “Surely he will smell.” She lacked the faith that the Lord could raise him from the dead (John 11: 20-22, 39). I lacked the faith. Therefore, after 25 years of marriage I sat him down and told him I could no longer live this way.

    In January 2008, my New Years resolution was to leave my husband. I was tired of the fighting and feeling so alone. Satan was using my loneliness to tempt me into sin. No matter if we were together or apart I wanted him saved. I explained to him that the time had come that I needed to move on…I had given up. More than that I had allowed Satan to tempt me and never saw it coming.

    I started packing, preparing to leave. Through the whole process I continued to pray for my husband but most of all myself because deep with in me I knew my place was with my husband but I refused to allow those emotions to surface. I was “afraid” of the pain I would endure if I continued to stay. I wanted to search for that “godly man” to share my life.

    On the 27th day of January my husband walks in to my bedroom and asks me if I would like him to drive to Church. I wanted to make a big fuss and say I’m glad you see how much you need the Lord. God closed my mouth and all I said was, “that would be nice.” He has been by my side in Church ever since. I praise God for that.

    1Peter 4:11 If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus.

    I was not glorifying God with my attitude toward my husband. I was doing what I “thought” to be right but my best still failed. When I took me out of it, and let God have it, my prayers were answered, and today, my husband’s name is written down in Heaven.

    AngelaNascroll


    Weekend Devotion by Guest Contributor - Amy

    2 Kings 6:16-17
    "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

    There are daily spiritual battles going on in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones. We see things with physical eyes but we don't see what's going on spiritually - God is there!

    For many years I struggled with my husband's lack of passion in his Christian walk with God. It seemed that I was thriving but he just wasn't interested. We were two different people living two different lives - we were like chalk and cheese spiritually. He went from being this totally on-fire man for God to someone who used swear words daily, he developed an anger problem, we were on the verge of divorce last year until God stopped me in my tracks and said "Amy! You’ve done what you can - now step back and let me do my job.”

    Those words from God were SO strong that I immediately just shut my mouth and didn't mention another spiritual thing to him until two months later my husband approached me and said how God had been chasing him and how he'd been ignoring Him but he couldn't continue doing it any longer. Oh, that was a day of rejoicing for me!

    It was a HUGE lesson though. Just because I couldn't see or hear what God was doing in my husband's life doesn't mean nothing was happening. God knows our struggles and He knows our hearts - He knows us so intimately and way better than we know ourselves after all He created us. There's a saying that goes "read between the lines". That's often the way it is between the physical world and the spiritual world. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not happening. It is very important to let God fight our battles for us after all He CAN do anything and His ways are higher than our ways.

    Amy

    Visit my blog @ petticoat-lane.co.nz/home


    The Right Place

    WeddingringssmallWhile reading a devotional yesterday, the writer highlighted Habakkuk 3:19. I hunted down this verse in my own Bible, then proceeded to write it on an index card.

    "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights."

    I don't know about you, but I need this reminder right now. I have a tendency to leave God's strength and start working on my own very limited reservoir. Inevitably, I run out, and right now, I don't need that to happen.

    This race takes perseverance. Big time. Right now God seems to be calling me to stay close to my husband's side. To support, to encourage, and to uphold. Even I'm amazed at how much patience I have and how well I'm managing to hold my tongue. Simply said, God's giving me exactly what I need at the moment to fulfill the role he's set before me.

    I'm walking a fine line at the moment. One turn to the left or to the right could send me out of God's will and spiraling into the chaos waiting to gobble me up and take my peace away. In this particular situation, I've had to seek God's guidance daily, more to keep from jumping ahead of him than anything else. I don't want to get in the way of what he's doing with with my dear husband, and there's no clear right or wrong direction here. God is the only compass I have at the moment.

    What amazes me even more is the peace I have in all this. The more I've aligned myself with my husband, the closer my husband has drawn to me. God is showing me that by doing this his way, I honor and respect not only my husband, but him as well. And let me tell you, nothing is more exciting and invigorating and peaceful than being obedient to God’s will.

    Already he's shown me he's there, working to take care of things. He's rewarded my obedience in such a way as to please my husband as well, thus confirming even more my role as help meet (Gen. 2:18).

    To serve God in such this way has filled me with a deep sense of what's "right." I don't know if that makes sense, but I can't completely put it into words. It's like knowing without any doubts that you are exactly where you're supposed to be.

    I can't take credit for any of it. I'm not capable of this kind of thing. This is 100% God moving in me, his tool, to bring about his will.

    And I can think of no better place to be.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen


    The Most Dangerous Prayer

    PrayingIt’s birthed in the deepest recesses of our hearts, then moves with our silent yearnings to the hidden places in our thoughts. We dare to think it, until we finally submit and give words to this most dangerous prayer.

    “Lord, do whatever it takes to bring my husband/wife to Christ.”

    Among the unequally yoked there is an unspoken enormity to this prayer. And we understand the journey it takes deep within ourselves to finally speak it—to pray it with sincerity, knowing full well we have no idea what we may have unleashed. It comes from a place of near desperation and complete trust in God.

    We are willing to risk it all.

    At times the urgency of this prayer fills me with such desperation that I can hardly breath. And when I am overcome by it, God tells me this is just the minutest fraction of what he feels for my husband.

    Can you imagine?

    Can you imagine a love that wild and all consuming? Then I realized that God feels that way about us and pursued us then just as He is pursuing our loved ones now. (Talk about really leaving a girl breathless!)

    That kind of love never fails. It’s always there, protecting and watching. He’s got our backs. (Isaiah 58:8). We just have to trust him and let go of our expectations, preconceived ideas, and fears. He will equip us to handle whatever comes. (I’m listening to those words as much as you are.)

    Amazingly, I’m the one who’s been changed the most by this prayer. At first what I thought to be terribly unfair now appears to be part of a grand plan. A time of preparation. With each pruning, I find myself more and more grateful, and humbled. (There’s hope for me yet.)

    Perhaps it makes a difference knowing the outcome—God gave me a glimpse of what’s to come several years ago. Or perhaps it has more to do with how He has strengthened my trust and reliance on him. He’s shown me my fallen-ness. I have no choice.

    What are you willing to risk for your unbelieving spouse to know Jesus? What are you willing to pray for that loved one? Are you willing to walk into the unknown realm of God’s will, and trust him completely with the outcome, no matter how you’re affected in the process? It’s a scary question, I know!

    When I worry what this prayer will cost me, I remind myself that God will equip me for whatever comes. That’s been the whole point of this time of preparation. And then I remember that He made the greatest sacrifice. He already paid the highest cost of all with his Son. And nothing I could lose can compare to that.

    Praying and believing,
    Dineen


    Submission to Your Husband is a Beautiful Thing

    The following article was originally published at 1Peter3Living on October 1, 2007 by Heather Young:Heather_2


    My husband and I have taken up swing dancing. I am finding his interest in learning very exciting because I have a background in dance. I studied dance all through school and learned various kinds from my mom as well as dance lessons. In other words I have a lot of background in dance and thought I knew what I was doing.

    The revelation came the other day when we were watching a Youtube Howto video about the basic steps. You see I have a lot of "know how" but I was never taught how to follow the leader. In any type of ballroom dancing (including swing) one partner has to lead and the other follows or else you end up with chaos and very poor dancing. My dad never danced so my mom taught me the basics because she loved to dance. She had never learned about having a leader, either in dance or in marriage so she never taught me.

    In swing dancing the male and female parts are completely opposite. The leader gently makes small moves to let the female know what the next step is. There are no exaggerated moves, no shoving in one direction or another, everything is small and hidden so that it seems like each knows exactly what comes next--even when new partners are dancing together. In general, females tend to know more about how the actual dance works (as is the case with my husband and I)--it is part of our nature to study these things which is good because it lets us better read our partners signals.

    The point is that, no matter how much knowledge the female has, she has to follow the male's lead or they are going to be going in completely wrong directions and in the end not be dancing together at all. (It is very easy to "lose ones partner" while swing dancing since you often let go of hands). However, if she follows his lead, regardless of how "off" it is they will look like they are together and the dance will be much better than if she had tried to lead in the direction she wanted to go.

    This was quite the revelation to me. I knew the military version of a leader and how that applied to marriage but the dance version makes more sense to me. The cool thing is that a male, by nature, will try to do his best and is very competitive with other males about doing his best, and if he is in the leader part he will try to learn it the best he can, especially if he KNOWS his partner is relying on him to make good moves.

    You are probably wondering what the question is.

    Biblically speaking we in marriage are called to take up our roles so that our households will be peaceful. The male role is that of leader--regardless of his preparation or his spiritual state he is to be leader of the household so that there is order. God has placed that on his head and he will be held accountable for it. The female part is to be his second in command or in dance terms, his partner. He is to lead and she is to follow his lead as closely as she can.

    In what ways have you taken up the wrong role?

    If you are female, have you taken up the leader part? Look for those subtle moves in the direction he wants to go--if you look you will see them and recognize them. What change can you make RIGHT NOW to start
    things going in the right direction again?

    If male, have you backed up and let your wife lead? Also, have your moves been overpowering or too harsh? How can you subtlety help her see the direction you want to go?

    And regardless of gender--have you discussed with your marriage partner to find out what your goals are? If I am waltzing and my husband is swing dancing then we are never going to get it straight.

    Ephesians 5:22-32 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.

    31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    Thank you Heather. You always encourage me. Lynn

    Also, Have any of you been to a DOOT Party? It is funny. Pop over to Laced With Grace and find out about this silliness.