25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband

 
Actions speak louder than words. You can say you respect your husband, but he’ll have a hard time believing that unless your behavior backs it up.

 

What does respectful living look like? Here are 25 ways you can communicate respect to your spouse without uttering a word. If you’ll make it your habit to do these things, the next time you tell your husband how much you respect him, he won’t have to wonder if you really mean it.

 

  1. Choose Joy
    It’s true: A happy wife makes a happy life. Please don’t use moodiness as an attempt to manipulate your man, but in all things rejoice, because that’s the right thing to do. (1 Thessaonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4)
  2. Honor His Wishes
    Give weight to what your husband thinks is important. Make those things a priority that matter most to him, whether it’s having dinner ready when he gets home from work or keeping the house tidy or limiting computer time. Don’t make him ask twice. (Philippians 2:4)
  3. Give Him Your Undivided Attention
    Yes, I know that women are masters of multi-tasking, but when your husband is speaking to you, make a point to lay other tasks aside, look into his eyes, and listen to what he is saying with the goal of understanding and remembering his words.
  4. Don’t Interrupt
    Have you ever been around a person who won’t let you finish a sentence? That gets old fast. Even if you think you already know what your husband is going to say, allowing him to say it without cutting him off mid-sentence shows both respect and common courtesy.
  5. Emphasize His Good Points
    Sure, he has his faults (as do you), but dwelling on them will only make you (both) miserable. Choose instead to focus on those qualities in your husband that you most admire. (Philippians 4:8)
  6. Pray for Him
    Ruth Graham advises wives to “tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.” Take your concerns to God. Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well. (Philipians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  7. Don’t Nag
    Your husband is a grown man, so don’t treat him like a two-year-old. Leave room for God to work. You are not the Holy Spirit, so do not try to do His job.
  8. Be Thankful
    Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Don’t take your husband for granted. Be appreciative for everything he does for you, whether big or small. Always say thank you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)
  9. Smile at Him
    Smiles spread happiness. Smiles have even been shown to create happiness. Smiles are contagious. And a smile makes any woman more beautiful.
  10. Respond Physically
    Did you know that the way you respond (or don’t respond) to your husband’s romantic overtures has a profound effect on his self-confidence? Don’t slap him away when he tries to hug you or make excuses when he’s in the mood. Your enthusiastic cooperation and reciprocation will not only assure him of your love, but will make him feel well-respected, too. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
  11. Eyes Only for Him
    Don’t compare your husband unfavorably to other men, real or imaginary. It is neither fair nor respectful and will only breed trouble and discontent. Avoid watching movies or reading books that might cause you to stumble in this area, as well. (Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 4:23)
  12. Kiss Him Goodbye
    I once read about a study done in Germany which found that men whose wives kissed them goodbye every morning were more successful than those who weren’t kissed. Success and respect often go hand-in-hand, so be sure to send him off right, and don’t forget to greet him with a kiss when he returns home, for good measure. (2 Corinthians 13:12)
  13. Prepare His Favorite Foods
    Although the rest of the family is not overly-fond of spaghetti, my husband loves it, so I try to make it at least two or three times a month as a way to honor him. Next time you’re planning meals, give special consideration to your husband’s preferences. (Proverbs 31:14-15)
  14. Cherish Togetherness
    I love to sit near my husband, whether at home or away. Our church shares potluck dinners every Sunday afternoon, and although the men and women normally sit separately to visit, I like to position myself close enough to my husband that I can listen to the conversation, as I think everything he says is so interesting. At home, I’ll take my book or handwork to whatever room in the house he’s working in, just to be close to him, because I enjoy his company, even when neither of us is talking.
  15. Don’t Complain
    Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer. It is grating on the nerves. Remember the serenity prayer: accept the things you can’t change, courageously change the things you can, seek wisdom to know the difference. (Philippians 2:14)
  16. Resist the Urge to Correct
    I know one wife whose spouse can’t tell a story without her stopping him fifteen times to correct inconsequential details: “It wasn’t Monday evening, it was Monday afternoon…. It wasn’t blue, it was turquoise…. He didn’t ride the bus, he took a shuttle.” Please. Please. Please. Don’t ever do that to your husband — or to anyone else, for that matter! (Proverbs 17:28)
  17. Dress to Please Him
    Take care of your appearance. Choose clothes your husband finds flattering, both in public and around the house.
  18. Keep the House Tidy
    To the best of your abilities, try to maintain a clean and orderly home. Seek to make it a haven of rest for your entire family. (Proverbs 31:27)
  19. Be Content
    Do not pressure your husband to keep up with the Jonses. Take satisfaction in the lifestyle he is able to provide for you. (1 Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 13:5)
  20. Take His Advice
    Do not dismiss his opinions lightly, especially when you’ve asked for his counsel in the first place. Make every effort to follow your husband’s advice.
  21. Admire Him
    Voiced compliments and heartfelt praise are always welcome, but you should also make it your habit to just look at your husband in a respectful, appreciative way. Think kind thoughts toward him. He’ll be able to see the admiration in your eyes. (Luke 6:45)
  22. Protect His Name
    Honor your husband in the way you speak of him to family and friends. Guard his reputation and do not let minor disagreements at home cause you to speak ill of him in public. Live in such a way that it will be obvious to others why your husband married you in the first place. (Proverbs 12:4; 22:1)
  23. Forgive His Shortcomings
    In the words of Ruth Bell Graham, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Please do not hold grudges against your husband. Do not allow a root of bitterness or resentment find a home in your heart. Forgive your husband freely, as Christ has forgiven you. (Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-35)
  24. Don’t Argue
    You are not always right, and you do not always have to have the last word. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry.” Be willing to accept the blame. It takes two to argue, so “abandon a quarrel before it breaks out.” (Proverbs 17:14; 21:19; 25:24)
  25. Follow His Lead
    If you want your husband to lead, you must be willing to follow. Neither a body nor a family can function well with two heads. Learn to defer to your husband’s wishes and let final decisions rest with him. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

 

Proverbs 18:22 tells us, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Do these 25 things consistently, and your husband will never have trouble believing that fact.

 


UPDATE: After posting the above suggestions for wives, I received many requests for a similar guide for husbands. You can now find just such a list posted on my husband’s blog: 25 Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her. Read it and let him know what you think.

Also, for those who have requested printable versions of these articles, you’ll find the list for wives here and the one for husbands here, with an option to print either article in its entirety or as a one-page summary.

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25 Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her

 

 


The key to a successful marriage is putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. Here are 25 practical suggestions gleaned from 25 years of happy marriage.

 

  1. Listen
    To be truly heard is the longing of every human heart, and your wife is no exception. It sounds simple, but listening can be harder than it seems with so many distractions around us and within us. Set aside some time every day to look into your wife’s eyes and really listen to what she has to say. You may be surprised at what you hear. (James 1:19, Matthew 11:15)
  2. Communicate
    Don’t make her guess what you are thinking or feeling.
  3. Sing Her Praises
    Shamelessly brag about her good qualities and quietly pray about her bad ones. Her reputation is your reputation. (Proverbs 31:28-29)
  4. Pray For Her and With Her
    Praying on your wife’s behalf not only enlists the help of the Almighty, but also puts her and her needs at the forefront of your heart and mind, right where they belong. Praying alongside your wife will strengthen your relationship like nothing else. Studies show that couples who regularly pray together stay together, enjoying a 1% divorce rate compared to the usual rate of 50% or more. (Philippians 4:6; Matthew 18:19)
  5. Value Her Individuality
    Your wife is wonderfully unique. Don’t compare her to your mom, or your ex-wife, or your old girlfriend. Your mom may make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, but unfavorable comparisons won’t win you brownie points.
  6. Put the Seat Down
    Perpetually raised toilet seats are a pet peeve of wives everywhere. And while you’re at it, tidy up a bit. A little consideration goes a long way. (Philippians 2:4)
  7. Throw Your Dirty Clothes in the Hamper
    It’s likely just a few steps from wherever you are dropping them anyway. Make this a habit, and it will let your wife know your don’t consider her your personal maid.
  8. Turn Off the T.V.
    Lay aside the video games, pocket the iPhone, and shut off the computer, as well. It is staggering how many hours we waste gazing at some sort of screen instead of interacting with the real people in our lives. Consciously set limits on your tube-time, whatever form it takes. Use the time saved to invest in your marriage: take a walk with your wife or play a board game together instead. (Psalm 90:12)
  9. Loosen the Purse Strings
    We all have to keep an eye on our budget, but an occasional splurge can be well worth it. Seemingly frivolous things like flowers, jewelry, and overpriced restaurants let her know that she is more valuable to you than a number in your bank account.
  10. Practice Servant-Leadership
    All organizations have a hierarchy. It’s impossible to function without one, but being a leader isn’t the same as being a dictator. The best role model is Jesus Christ, not Joseph Stalin. Jesus washed his disciples feet and then died on their behalf. It’s a challenge to exercise authority while maintaining a spirit of humility, but that is what being a godly leader entails. (Matthew 20:28, Philippians 2:1-8; Mark 9:35)
  11. Remember that Intimacy’s a Two-Way Street
    Unfortunately, men are notoriously selfish in the bedroom, yet are dumbfounded when their wives are less than enthusiastic in this arena. Make this area of your relationship as pleasurable for her as it is for you and it will pay huge dividends. It may mean washing the dishes or helping with the kids, so that she has energy left at the end of the day. It may mean cuddling and candlelight, so that she can relax and let the worries on her mind drift away. If you aren’t sure where to begin, just ask her, and then listen. (1 Corinthians 7:3)
  12. Give Her Time to Herself
    Everyone needs an occasional break to rest and recharge, and this is especially important for a wife who is at home all day with young children. Yet it’s very easy to neglect this legitimate need unless you regularly and intentionally schedule time for it. (Luke 5:16)
  13. Set Aside Couple Time
    Soak in the tub together each evening or go on a date night once a week — whatever gets the two of you alone on a regular basis. (Genesis 2:24-25)
  14. Be Careful with Female Friendships
    We all have friends and colleagues of the opposite sex, but tread cautiously. Not all affairs are physical ones. Honoring your marriage vows means remaining faithful in thought and word as well as in deed. (Matthew 5:27-28)
  15. Use Good Hygiene
    It is amazing how meticulous guys can be prior to marriage in their attempts to impress a girl, but once they walk down the aisle, all bets are off. Clean up a little; I promise it won’t kill you.
  16. Limit the Gross Stuff
    Few women find burping and farting nearly as hilarious as the typical guy does. Good manners are always a win. (Ephesians 5:4)
  17. Be Patient
    In whatever way this applies to you and your situation, apply it. (1 Corinthians 13:4, Proverbs 14:29)
  18. Cherish Her Children
    A mother’s bond to her children runs immeasurably deep. When you invest time or energy in them, you are investing in her as well. Kindness to them counts as kindness to her. (Malachi 4:6)
  19. Choose Her Over Hobbies and Buddies
    Invariably there will come times in your relationship when you will be forced to choose between your wife and something else that you enjoy. Always choose her.
  20. Provide for Her Needs
    This is so much more than just putting food on the table. It is all-encompassing. Whether it is physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, you name it — do your best to provide. Sometimes life’s circumstances hinder us in one area, but we can compensate in another area. Often the effort is as important as the outcome. (Galatians 6:2)
  21. Dial Down the Anger
    Your caveman instincts are handy on the battlefield, but horrible for a happy home life. Every outburst or flare-up is a relationship setback. To go forward, the first step is to stop going backwards. Learn to control your temper or it will control you, your marriage, and every other aspect of your life. Just because your wife puts up with it and your co-workers tolerate it, doesn’t make your short fuse an asset. Do whatever it takes to gain victory in this all-important struggle that has haunted man since Cain slew Abel. (Ecclesiastes 7:9, Ephesians 4:31)
  22. Cut Out the Condescension
    If you have been blessed with a quick wit, you can either be the life of the party or a pain in the neck depending on the circumstances. Condescension is anger’s younger brother. It isn’t as loud or as dramatic, but it can be equally hurtful and all the more so for its subtlety. Lay off the snide remarks, the sarcasm, and the belittling. Speak to your wife in the same way that you would speak to a respected colleague. She is, after all, your partner in the most valuable investment of your life — your family.(, (Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 3:19)
  23. Actively Seek Your Wife’s Insights
    Value her input and give it a preferential place in your decision-making process. (Proverbs 19:20; 12:15)
  24. Learn to Forgive
    Freely forgive your wife’s past, present, and future offenses. Forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel and at the heart of every meaningful relationship. (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
  25. Verbally Express Your Love
    There are lots of ways to show your love, but women still like to hear it spoken.

 

Obviously no list is comprehensive, and one size certainly doesn’t fit all, but hopefully this one will prompt you to compile a list of your own, tailor-made for your own wife. For any women reading this blog, you may be interested to know that my wife has published a similar list entitled 25 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband. Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

Also, for those who have requested printable versions of these articles, you’ll find the list for wives here and the one for husbands here, with an option to print either article in its entirety or as a one-page summary.

A Call to Biblical Womanhood

by Nancy Leigh DeMoss 

 

Due to the modern feminist revolution, the value of women has come to be equated with their roles in the community and in the marketplace. Relatively little value is assigned to women’s roles in the home.

 

Today, no bouquets are handed out to women for being reverent and temperate or modest and chaste or gentle and quiet. Women are rarely applauded for loving their husbands and children, for keeping a well-ordered home, for caring for elderly parents, for providing hospitality, or for carrying out acts of kindness, service, and mercy. In other words, little attention is paid to the kinds of accomplishment that the Word of God says women should aspire to (1 Timothy 5:10; Titus 2:3-5).

 

The feminist revolution was supposed to bring women greater fulfillment and freedom. But I can’t help feeling a sense of sadness over what has been forfeited in the midst of the upheaval—namely, the beauty, the wonder, and the treasure of the distinctive makeup of women.

 

It should come as no surprise that the secular world is confused about the calling of women. What I find more distressing is the extent to which feminism has taken hold within the evangelical world.

 

The Feminist Revolution Comes to the Church

 

As prominent Christian speakers, authors, and leaders promote an agenda that encourages women to define their worth in the workplace, in society, or at church, we see modern feminism at work within evangelicalism. These same leaders minimize women’s roles in the home as daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers. They don’t seem to see women as bearers and nurturers of life, as caregivers, as those privileged to shape the character of the next generation.

 

We see the fruit of this revolution in women who are sinking in a quagmire of divorce and remarriage and wayward children. We see it in women who are exhausted from trying to juggle the demands of one or more jobs, function as single parents, and remain active at church. We see it in women who are disoriented and confused, who lack a sense of purpose for their lives, and who are perpetually shrouded in woundedness, self-doubt, resentment, and guilt.

 

Yes, the feminist revolution has come to the church. And when I add up all the gains and losses, there is no question in my mind that women have been the losers.

 

As have their husbands and their children and grandchildren. As has the church. As has our lost, unbelieving culture.

 

A Counter-Revolution of Biblical Womanhood

 

Some years ago a fresh mission began to stir within my heart. Since that time, hope and excitement have replaced my sense of pessimism and of being swallowed up by the feminist revolution.

 

A study of the development of modern feminism (feminism itself actually dates back to the Garden of Eden) impressed me with the fact that this massive revolution did not begin as a massive revolution. It started in the hearts of a handful of women with an agenda—women who were determined and intentional in their efforts.

 

I began to wonder what might happen in our day if even a small number of devoted women would begin to pray and believe God for a revolution of a different kind—a counter-revolution—within the evangelical world. What would happen if a “remnant” of women were willing to return to the authority of God’s Word, to embrace God’s priorities for their lives and homes, and to live out the beauty and the wonder of womanhood as God created it to be?

 

Your Place in the New Revolution

 

Unlike most revolutions, the counter-revolution I envision does not require that we march in the streets or send letters to Congress or join an organization. It does not require us to leave our homes. (In fact, for many women, it calls them back into their homes.) It requires only that we humble ourselves, that we learn, affirm, and live out the biblical pattern of womanhood, and that we teach the ways of God to the next generation.

 

I invite you to become a part of this counter-revolution, believing that in God’s time the changes that will result will be more profound and on a higher order than any of the sociopolitical changes our world has experienced in this generation.

 

Making it personal

 

Does the call to a counter-revolution in favor of biblical womanhood resonate in your own heart? If so, be an example of a godly woman to the world. And pray that others will heed the counter-revolutionary call too.

© Revive Our Hearts. Adapted from Biblical Womanhood in the Home edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Used with permission. http://www.TrueWoman.com

How Do We Reform The Way We Think About Our Children?

Advanced Family Strategies CD #1

By, Doug and Beall Phillips

How do we reform the way we think about our children?

The Problem: We live in a culture that is constantly disparaging of the family, a culture that emphasizes fragmentation, as opposed to family unity. Consequently a culture that emphasizes selfishness. We are instructed to have our “me time”, (IE- advertisements of all these activities for kids for the summer otherwise how are parents going to make it through the summer if you have to spend all day with your kids.) The message: “Get away from your kids and lead your own life.”

Attitude #1: “My children are just a pain in the neck!  There are just too many problems, constant problems! Help!”

Attitude #2: “My children are so expensive!”

Some parents feel their real joy & happiness is when they get away from their kids.

We are laying up our treasure in our private time and our entertainment & our own adult peer groups & agendas. That becomes the idolatry of our lives.

Language of division and fragmentation is another problem. The way we talk to our children and about our children contributes to the way we think about them.  When we look at scripture we see a tender language between fathers and sons, “Son give me your heart let your eyes observe my ways.”  (Prov 23:26)

Dishonorable talk in our homes is another problem. When you speak honorably about someone, you will begin to feel  honor toward them.  If speaking negatively (“The old ball and chain”) we begin to think negatively about that person. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

The goal for this topic is to set a “Joy Goal”: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”. (3 John 4)

Whatever joy I have in work or with my friends, it’s not as important as seeing my children walk in truth.

How do we cultivate this in our home?

Look at our children & imagine them as old men and women. We will long be gone from this earth when they are 80 years of age. What kind of legacy will we be leaving them? We are looking at a person who will stand before the Lord & hopefully will impact hundreds or more for the kingdom of God.  All the hope of the future rests on our children. Understand that we don’t own these children , God does. We are just stewards of them. This helps remind us of the responsibility we have toward God & not just looking at their behavior and worry about what others will think if they act a certain way. We as parents need to get over our selfishness & ask ourselves, ”What is the big picture of this child’s life?”

Do not wait for tomorrow to enjoy our children. Delight in your children. Our duty is to discipline them, but also delight in them as our reward.  It is an honor that we get to work with our children for this short time. The act of enjoying our children is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Not in just watching their soccer game. Delight in the fact that they are reading for the first time, that they are learning and growing, that they are hugging you.

Delighting in them doesn’t come naturally for all of us. There are things we can do to reform our actions:

#1 Affirming our kids every single day:

#2 Being physical with our children: Kissing, hugging, playing

#3 Get a good nights sleep!

#4 Don’t put our children on our checklist for the day. Develop a relationship with them.

Don’t wait until they are gone and then say,”Why didn’t I spend more time with them?”

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man to Become a Gentleman

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man

Boys will be boys.

For sure. But he can learn to be a gentleman as well. A gentleman in the right sense – not in a sissy, unreasonable manner – but a kind, respectful and godly young man.

It’s not that we’d ask our son to sit with his hands folded or keep him from running, building or exploring. No way. But we do hope he’ll learn to be wise, to consider others, and to remember that he’s a son of the King.

A true gentleman.

24 WAYS

  1. Fear The Lord. It’s the beginning of knowledge. Prov. 1:7
  2. Listen carefully. A wise man listens intently and learns much. Prov. 1:5
  3. Pay attention to your father’s instruction. You’ll be glad you did. Prov. 1:8
  4. And don’t forget your mother’s teaching. She has wisdom to offer. Prov. 1:8b
  5. Control your temper.  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32).
  6. Keep your word. A gentleman follows through on what he says he will do.
  7. Don’t hang out with the ungodly. Bad company corrupts good morals. I Cor. 15:33.
  8. Invest in strong, loyal friendships. The kind of friend who “sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
  9. Do what needs to be done. Without being told. Don’t wait to be asked when you know what you should do.
  10. Look sharp. Not sloppy or slovenly – simply neat and clean will do.
  11. Trust in The Lord. And don’t rely on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5
  12. Don’t chafe at correction. Consider it an opportunity to learn and grow.  Prov. 3:11.
  13. Be known as a hard worker. Learn to enjoy your job and take on whatever must be tackled. Prov. 6:6.
  14. Walk in purity. Avert your eyes and run from immorality. There is power in purity.
  15. Be polite. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  16. Work out. Keep in shape. A young man should be strong and fit for whatever he might be called upon to carry out.
  17. Watch over those who are younger or weaker than you. Never be too big for the small.
  18. Serve others.  To humbly serve is a very manly quality. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. Follow Christ’s example.  (Phil. 2).
  19. Look after the ladies. Step back to let her in the door first. Offer to carry heavy items for her. Protect and defend her.
  20. Make study a life-long habit. Commit to learning as much as you can about as many subjects as you can. Read books, research, observe and ask questions.
  21. Show respect for those who are older than you. Look them in the eye and shake their hand. Listen to what they have to say.
  22. Flee from sin. Get out of there immediately when you encounter temptation. (I Tim. 6:11).
  23. Be bold. As a lion. A righteous man doesn’t need be shy about what’s right. Prov. 28:1.
  24. Love God’s Word. Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of The Lord. Psalm 1.

So yes, boys will be boys. But prepare them to be gentlemen too.

In His grace,

http://club31women.com/2013/04/24-ways-to-prepare-your-young-man-to-become-a-gentleman/

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Girl to Become a Lovely Woman

24 Ways to PrepareYou wouldn’t guess just by looking at her.

That she’s not so much a young girl, but a more of a woman every day. And that now it’s as though there’s only a small window of time to teach her the many lessons she should learn. This fleeting, but oh-so-wonderful chance to share wisdom to a girl who’s growing up right before you.

Because you and I both know it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. You understand – it’s not so much her appearance – but what goes on in her heart and in her mind. Things of truth and beauty. Of courage and kindness. Of strength and sweetness.

Loveliness.

So how do you prepare her for that?

 

24 WAYS

  1. Be gentle in words and actions. Let your beauty come from a gentle and quiet spirit (I Pet. 3:4).
  2. Determine to be strong. As a woman, you’ll face many situations where you’ll need to be steady and of a sound mind. Strength and honor are her clothing (Prov. 31:25).
  3. Live purely. There’s goodness and power in purity.
  4. Choose joy. You will bless everyone around you with your joyful countenance. Besides, it’s a lovely way to live.
  5. Seek wisdom. And as wisdom comes from above, look up (James 3).
  6. Laugh freely. It will lighten your spirit and everyone else around you too.
  7. Care for your health. Be sure and eat good foods, exercise, and get enough rest. If you care for yourself, then you’ll be better able to care for others too.
  8. Speak sweetly. People will be able – and more open – to listen to you if you do.
  9. Be willing to work hard. Learn to enjoy your tasks and take on what must be tackled (Prov. 31:13).
  10. Sing loudly. A song can both change a mood and give glory to God. So make a loud noise! (Ps. 98:4).
  11. Study many different things. Decide you’re going to be a life-long student. Learn about gardening, ancient history, bread-baking, new languages, natural medicine, geography, or anything else that fascinates you.
  12. Look after those in need. Have compassion on others and use your gifts to bless them.
  13. Bring beauty into your life. And into the life of others. Whether it be flowers, art, poetry, handwork, or bright colors.
  14. Walk through trials in faith.  Don’t walk in your own strength, but trust Him who will carry you through.
  15. Have a good cry. Now and then. It’ll make you feel better.
  16. Invest in a few good friends. Make time for and pursue relationships with those who can encourage you, inspire you and challenge you.
  17. Learn how to cook. It’s a handy and necessary skill. Because doesn’t everyone need to eat?
  18. Spend time alone in the Word. Don’t ever get too busy for time with your God.
  19. Be kind to others. Kindness isn’t all that hard to offer and yet has such a significant impact on those around you. And on her tongue is the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26b).
  20. Serve cheerfully. Look to Christ as your example, not what the world says about service. Nothing begrudging or stingy there (Phil. 2).
  21. Pray about all things. Don’t try to solve everything by yourself, but go to your Heavenly Father with your joys, cares and concerns (Eph. 6:18).
  22. Watch what you say. Your words have power to build up or tear down. So use them carefully.
  23. Love others deeply.  I Corinthians 13.
  24. Draw near to God.  And He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Yes, it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. But it’s so what I want for her.

It’s what I want for me too.

Lovely living. As a woman.

In His grace,

http://club31women.com/2013/04/24-ways-to-prepare-her-to-become-a-lovely-woman/

Naive, Unsophisticated Children {And the Evil That is Out to Get Them}

There is a common line of thought that says too much sheltering of children will produce naive adults that cannot function in the real world. In the case of homeschooling this is just an extension of the age old “What about socialization?” question. (As if the child who spends seven hours a day, five days a week in an artificial environment unlike any he will ever encounter as an adult, will be better prepared than a child whose main role models are mature adults.)

But ironically, this myth also abounds within the homeschool community.  Could it be possible that we decry the “What about socialization?” remarks but on some level we truly are still worried about it?

We fear that our children will stand shocked and bewildered when someone uses profanity in their presence or they aren’t savvy to the words and phrases that other kids use to speak of illicit sex.  We fear that the latest movie or pop star will be discussed and our kids will awkwardly stand there not participating because they have been too sheltered from the world and haven’t heard of these things.

Parents assume that the best way to know evil is by experiencing it for ourselves and so we expose our children to evil, but only to the degree that we deem appropriate. Yes, that sounds good.  And look it’s right there in the Bible in the book of…wait.  Nope, it’s not there.

God never intended His children to know evil.  He wants us to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.  Satan is the one who told Eve to taste for herself.  And he wants us to fall for that same old lie.

Moms, our task is not to bring up children that fit in with this world.  Are your kids weird?  I hope so.  I hope they seem like they are from another world. If we are fitting in with the world then we are conformed.

The challenge of every parent is to raise up children who love God with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength.  Children who have a living and vibrant relationship with Christ, shining a light that penetrates darkness with righteousness and the gospel.  We want more than just “good kids”.  We want kids who enthusiastically love truth and hate evil and who have a burden to go out and change this world–not fit in with it.

We want them to know the difference between right and wrong because of:

1.) A good overview of the scripture.  I can teach my son more about immodest women and the flattering and seductive women of the world, through the use of scripture.  He doesn’t have to experience it.

2.) We can teach them the major doctrines of the Christian faith as well as teach them theologically rich hymns.

3.) We can teach them from biographies of true heroes–men such as Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, David Livingstone and William Carey.

4.) And we cover it all in prayer, that God would bring the increase of all we sow.  We pray He would sustain them when they are one day out on their own and that their love for Him would motivate their choices once they are outside our protective walls.

We pray that the “faith of their fathers” becomes their own.

Shaping Them in the Greenhouse

One thing is to be sure:  Our children will eventually be exposed to lifestyles and choices that are foreign to them.  But we, their parents, are the shapers of their “want to.” Shaping them happens in the home–the greenhouse for tender plants that protects and shelters them until they are ready to be transplanted outdoors.

Children are going to develop an appetite and hunger for what they are fed. If all we feed them is junk food why would we expect them to grow up and eat nutritious meals?  And if we allow our children to listen to and partake in pop culture, why are we surprised when they develop a listening ear to (or outright embrace of) the world’s philosophies?

Our children will one day have the freedom to go places, do things and spend time with who they wish.  Has their “want to” been shaped by you?  One day their decisions will not be driven by what they are afraid we, their parents, think.  Their decisions must be driven instead by a strong sense of the presence and holiness of God.