Monday, April 25, 2011

Motherhood & Being a Submissive Wife

With Mother's Day just a couple of weeks away, here is something I received a long time ago, which considers the mother-child relationship from a purely worldly point-of-view.   Do you agree with this?   Are you raising your children to these standards?

When a child is . . . s/he thinks . . .
4 years old ~ Mommy can do anything!
8 years old ~ Mom knows a whole lot!
12 years old ~ Mom doesn't really know everything.
14 years old ~ Naturally, Mom doesn't know that, either.
16 years old ~ Mother? Ugh. She's hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 years old ~ Ugh!  She's so out of date!
25 years old ~ Well, Mom might know. You think?
35 years old ~ Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion.
45 years old ~ I want to call Mom and ask her first.
65 years old ~ Wish I could talk it over with Mom.  

Do you agree with this?   Are you raising your children to these standards? 

As a Christian wife and mother, I don't buy into the notion that teen-aged children must necessarily go through a rebellious stage in order to effectively transition from being dependent needy little kids to becoming responsible young adults.  

Worldly notions excuse sassy-talk and spoiled-rotten attitudes in our youngsters for a variety of reasons.   Remember, though, little girls who toss their curls and resist your requests will soon be middle school girls who are mean to their friends and younger siblings--and they will grow into teen girls with joyless and selfish attitudes.

Too often, Christian parents accept the worldly idea that their  daughters' hormone swings cause moodiness and fits of despair.  Eye-rolling and back-talk is expected.   Stomping off in a tizz is endured with a shrug of Mom's white-flag of surrender.   Mothers expect to tolerate heart-rending rifts between them and their daughters. 
News Flash!

Hormones do NOT cause moodiness, fits of despair, eye-rolling, back-talk or stomping.   No, no, no!   Sin causes this kind of attitude and naughty behavior and disrespect.   Sin causes parents to "give in" to their children's demands to be allowed to be disrespectful.  

Mothers!  Please!

It is always wrong to put up with, tolerate, suffer, endure, submit to, or stomach insolent behavior (attitude) from our children.   Especially in our daughters, as they need to learn a submissive and sweet spirit--so that one day they will enjoy the wonderful relationship Christ intended for them to have with their husbands.

Why does this matter?

It is important for us to train our daughters to meekly submit when we make requests (even those THEY feel are wearing modest clothing, keeping curfew, maintaining a high GPA and careful selection of friends).    

We are told by the apostle Paul in the book of Titus that as "older women" (mothers) we are to train the younger women (our daughters) to love their husbands and their that no one maligns the Word of God.

Essentially, as we train our daughters to submit to our parental requests and as they see us loving our job as wife and mother, we are training them in submission and in loving their future husband, and to look forward to having children of their own some day.

How to do this? 

Don't neglect your daughter's training in this area.   The sooner you begin to train your daughter(s), the easier it will be over the long-run.   

Keep your wits about you.  Keep your long-term goals in mind.    Don't be wishy-washy

Be firm.  Be consistent.  And by all means....if you make a promise or threaten to punish, follow through.  

Establish rules that are NOT negotiable.  Here are a few guidelines and suggested responses

No stomping off in a hissy fit:  "Come back and walk up those stairs quietly."   (Make her do it five times to make your point.)    
No eye-rolling or face-making"Honey, I find that behavior ugly, but since you think it's attractive, I want you to do it in front of the mirror for five minutes.  I'm setting the stove timer."   (When the buzzer goes off, ask if she needs to do it for another few minutes to get it out of her system.)

No huffing & puffing:   "Sweetie, it sounds like you're trying to get a deep breath.   I think it might be helpful if you did about ten minutes of very brisk jumping jacks to get your heart pounding and some real deep breathing.   I'm setting the timer for you."   (After the buzzer runs out, find out if she'd like to do another few minutes of aerobic activity.)

Your Homework Assignment . . . 

Dear Mother:

Pray for God to give you a spirit of willing submission and to give you opportunities to model these traits for your daughter(s).    

Responsibility is on your shoulders:   submit to your husband out of love for the LORD, knowing that your loving submission is an example to your daughter, too!   In the days and years ahead, your modeling and genuine respect for your husband WILL pay off--not just for your marriage but for your daughter(s) too!   

Trust God to work out the details.   

"Teach the older women . . . 
to teach what is good . . . train the younger women 
to love their husbands and children . . . 
so no one will malign the Word of God." 
Titus 2: 3-5 NIV 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Family Devotions - "Pray For Me"

"The family that prays together, stays together."   

Pretty neat little saying, and I believe it's true, too.   Our family has been in the habit of having family devotions every evening since we first got married.   Back when it was just-us-two we read from our Bible or from a little devotion book our church-body publishes called"Meditations".   

As children joined the family, we adjusted to fit the needs.   We used "child-friendly" devotion books like "Little Visits With God/Jesus" or some others.  

At some point, we also taught our children to pray "ex corde" (Latin for "from the heart").   These were un-prepared prayers, off the top of the head or "off the cuff."    Now don't run screaming from the room!   Many people are uncomfortable with praying in front of others--like giving a speech only worse!   However, you can teach your children and yourself--in a very non-threatening way--and before long the nerves will calm and praying excorde will be "no biggy."

Most importantly you will be teaching your children to pray for others!

Here's a nifty way to keep family devotions and prayer-time moving and interesting.    

A little advance preparation:
  • Write on slips of paper the names of all your family members and any friends you see frequently.    
  • OR type them in a list, make two or three columns on the page, add several spaces between the names.  
  • Then print out the names and cut the names apart, so you have one little slip per person.
  • Fold each name-slip in half and drop it into a little basket or box that can be kept in the area where you sit for your family devotion.    

Papier mache box - decorate with creativity!
At the end of your family devotion time, pass the box around the group and have each person pick a slip.  No fair peeking OR putting back!

Begin your prayer time by asking God to send his Holy Spirit to your family, to guide you as you pray for these family members. 

Then go around the group, and each person say a short prayer for the name on their slip.   OR first discuss what the prayer needs for the individuals might be--but DO NOT belabor this.   OR give all the slips to one person who says the prayer for everyone that evening.  The next night a different person can be the pray-er.

At the end of prayer time, gather the slips and clip them together and put in the bottom of the box.   The next night, pick from the remaining names.   When all the names get used up (depending on how large your family is, this may take several weeks or only a few days), pull them apart from the clip, and either add them back into the box or go through them and see if you know of anything special that's gone on for these individuals.

Wooden box to jazz up!
Whose names to put in the box?   
  • grandparents
  • grandchildren
  • god-childen
  • our own names
  • all the aunts and uncles
  • cousins
  • nieces and nephews
  • special friends
  • family friends 
  • neighbors
  • co-workers
  • classmates & teachers
  • pastor & Sunday school teachers & classmates
  • coaches, players
  • people you know!

St. Paul wrote to his friends in Ephesus (Ephesians 6:19-20):
"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.  Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

One last thought ~

It has been our contention that whichever names are drawn out of the box each night--that God means for those individuals to get our especial attention that night--and we take it seriously.   I remember one time, one of my boys--at his wits' end about what to pray for a particular cousin or aunt--saying something like this: 

"God, you know why this person was the one I picked tonight.  I don't know what's going on in her life, but you do.  Please be with her and keep her safe and mindful of You."   

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Home - Keeping: Patience, Commitment & Love

"The job of keeping a home is an honorable one.   There is a difference between a housekeeper and a home-keeper.   A hired housekeeper will keep the home clean and do the duties as expected by her employer, but a home-keeper does the duties of her home from her heart.   She does it out of love for her family.   She looks upon her duties as the most important job in all the world.   It takes a lot of patience, skill, commitment and love to be a keeper of your home.  Be faithful; in due time, your family will rise up and call you blessed."                                       ~ Martha Greene   
In my "old" kitchen back in WI

Something short and sweet for a Saturday morning.    I came across this quote many years ago; it helped me remember that I was MORE--much more--than a mere housekeeper (job description), and thought I'd share it with you.   Hope it reminds you (like it did me) that what you're doing at home is very valuable, necessary, and -- although often a thankless job -- Jesus sees and knows the desires of your heart.   

"For we are God's workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
    which God prepared in advance for us to do."    
Ephesians 2:10 NIV 

Exquisite apple blossoms - ready to burst!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Bouquet of Friendship

A bouquet for my Titus Two Friends ~ from my heart to your home!
I liked this picture SO much from today's posting from Time of Grace ministry....
I just HAD to share it here.  Hope it brightens your day like it did for me!

Also, wanted to pass along to you, a link to a really neat blog that I follow.  
Thought you might enjoy it too.   
Check it out, enjoy a few chuckles over the family antics, 
her great recipes and down-to-earth humor.  
Like having a friend in your home--
but you don't have to clean house before she shows up!