Imagine having coffee with a few friends–just the girls. Isn’t it likely that at some point, one of your friends will make a comment about her husband? Soon, everyone is “venting.”  Our husbands are forgetful, they chew too loudly, and they don’t help enough with household chores. We share our frustrations with each other, not feeling overly concerned; after all, no one said she didn’t love her husband or wanted a divorce.

I have been in that very situation. More than once, I have sat around a table with a group of girlfriends and done my share of venting. I am a Christian, but I never gave much thought to whether what I was doing was harmful. But it IS harmful, because it’s disrespectful, and because it goes against what God has commanded of me as a wife.

This is just one of the many ways God has convicted me in our current study, Falling In Love Again With Your Husband, I have been forced to confess to the Lord that for many years, 1 Peter 3 was nowhere on my radar: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:1-4 NASB).

This passage is specific. Be submissive. Behave respectfully. Consider the hidden person of your heart more important than external beauty. Why? Because it is precious in God’s sight.

If I really take this scripture to heart, I am mightily convicted. On most days, my behavior, my attitude, would not win over my husband. I am not respectful, in word or tone. I am selfish. A gentle and quiet spirit? No. My flesh screams to be heard, to be right, to control.

BUT, I am learning, I have a choice! I can follow my flesh, my sinful nature, the nature we all share OR I can walk forward in the Spirit, trusting God to work all things out.

While we are faced with walking in the flesh vs. the Spirit every moment of everyday, there are times the Lord allows us to see the act of choosing as it unfolds. Recently, I had to leave the house early, and my husband had to manage the morning routine. I asked my husband to ensure something very important was done for one of our children. I left reminders. And then…I got a text from him later in the morning. He had forgotten.

My first reaction, in the flesh, was to fire back an angry text to express my disbelief (and disappointment) that he forgot.

But I resisted. I prayed. The Lord settled my heart and mind. He gently reminded me He was in control. He gently reminded me I forget things, too. And in that moment, I was able to walk forward in the Spirit. I asked my husband to pray for our child. I did not respond out of anger or self-righteousness, as if I would have done better. And my response allowed my frustration to dissipate. I was watching myself, my responses, from a Spirit-filled posture, which was so encouraging!  Please know, I take no credit for my actions. This is the work of the Lord. I cannot, nor will ever be able to, respond in this manner apart from the Lord. In my own strength, I would always fire back an angry text.

All of this helped me to see that I’m not helping my friends or myself by sharing my frustrations about my husband. I can turn to my Almighty Father and lay those frustrations at His feet. Only He can change a person’s heart. He wants my focus to stay on Him.

Another lesson I learned that day? My husband may have forgotten what our child needed, but God did not. He is faithful.

Growing in Grace




I’m very thankful for the review week of Falling In Love Again With Your Husband. Each day of homework takes participants through the other six weeks of homework that they have already completed. It’s amazing to go back and remember truths that the Lord brought to new light and also very sweet to see new growth that the Lord has allowed.

As I went through my first day of review, I went through days one and two of the week “Made In His Image.” There was a question that had me list out my priorities and questioned if there were any that took precedence over the Lord. I had confessed that many everyday home chores took (and can still take) precedence. I read my prayer that I had written to the Lord, “I want my husband to remember how much I loved you over any meal I could cook or how many loads of laundry I could get done in a day and I want my kids to remember that you are always number one over how clean our house was or that they always had clean sheets.”

The Lord used my own prayer that I had written to reveal my sin. I realized as I read my prayer that what it said may have sounded good, but the true motive behind the prayer was not. I have godly wives and godly mommas all around me that their families hold in such high esteem. They exude Jesus and their families recognize it. I realized as I read my prayer that that is what I desire more than to glorify the Lord. I fear what my family will think of me and put their opinions over the Lord’s. I want them to love me, to hold me in high esteem for how “godly” I am, I want their recognition. When I saw these symptoms of sin from seeing my idolatry of self and pride in this new light I was heart-broken; partly because I saw a new way that I was sinning against my God and partly because this wasn’t a sin I could immediately “fix.” I couldn’t immediately take that desire away, I still felt it even if I didn’t want to anymore.

I started to think about this more as I went throughout my day. The Lord brought scriptures to mind that I had been reading thanks to His grace of allowing me to get up to read His word because of commitments I had made to my small group at Thistlebend. Normally seeing a sin like this that wasn’t immediately changeable would make me walk in defeat for the rest of the day. I would feel shame, guilt and would want to try and cover it up before coming to the Lord so that I could confess what I was doing not the current reality. This time was different.

I remembered what I learned about Psalm 63 from a previous study of Thistlebend that David, in his sin, didn’t hide from the Lord, instead he clung to Him all the more. So, by God’s grace, I confessed to Him, this is what I’m feeling and seeing and I don’t know how to stop. I know the focus is on me and wanting to be cherished as a wife and mother instead of cherishing you. I remembered scripture passages from 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 and Colossians 3 that I have around my house because of a another commitment I had made to my Thistlebend small group that talk about our heavenly dwelling and setting our minds where Christ is because things that are seen are temporary, but Christ is eternal. And the Lord brought to mind a scripture from Psalm 25 that I had read that very morning, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net” (Psalm 25:15). The Lord kept bringing more truth to mind as I thought and prayed about my sin and I was given the ability to remember the truth. That maybe I do feel as if I want that recognition more than just loving the Lord, but I do not have to identify with that pride. That pride is not who I am, I am now in Christ. When I see that I’m feeling that way I can fix my eyes towards the Lord and off myself and remember that it is Him alone that plucks my feet from the sinful net that I can be entangled in.

Maybe I will continue to struggle to worry what people, even my family think of me. I pray that the Lord relieves me of this sin, but even if He doesn’t this side of heaven, because of Jesus and what He did for me, I live for another. I was created for another and I can openly confess to my family that I want this recognition, but by God’s grace, I want Him to be recognized more and it says that He is glorified in my weakness and so here’s what I struggle with.

I am so encouraged. God is tangibly moving in my life and giving me grace to believe His truth, even if it’s in ways that I wouldn’t necessarily want. I still really don’t like to see my sin, but through seeing this and calling it what it is, I saw God, and truly, that’s all that matters. In Luke 15 Jesus says, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). God rejoices with repentance, not perfection. I’m so thankful for how He uses Thistlebend in my life.

How have you seen God work in your life lately? Let’s celebrate how God is moving together in the comments!

Planted for His Glory

It is hard, no, nearly impossible to ignore the constant purging of information media can throw at us these days; honestly I can be distracted by this more than I would like to admit. For me, information can feel like it is bombarding my brain from absolutely every side. More than that, as a woman living in 2017, I find it increasingly difficult to ignore the media which has put out a mass signal calling every woman to stand tall, proud, and to tell the world “I am woman, hear me roar!”

As I type this I cringe, during these times, my flesh would love nothing more than to be well liked by succumbing to these media messages that are played out in the news, in my social media and even in some of my friend circles. Lately, following Jesus, submitting to my husband and dying to self as a living sacrifice (Roman 12:1) aren’t necessarily on the “popular” list.

In today’s world submitting to a man is less than ideal. When I read scriptures such as “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness” (1 Timothy 2:11) and “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is himself its Savior” (Ephesians 5: 21 -23) my body can begin to tense as these go against everything the world tells me. In a world where women proudly march in the hundreds of thousands for ideals nowhere close to this, I find it best in most circles to hide the fact that I believe these scriptures are true. I fear what man will think if they knew that yes, I do in fact believe the husband is to be the head of the home and that I do believe that men and women have different roles, both equally, wonderfully and fearfully created in God’s image.

My fear of what others may think of me has been in hyper focus lately. During one of Laurie’s lectures she read the Webster’s definition of submission “1. To yield to governance or authority 2. To subject to a condition, treatment, or operation.” Then she began to read the biblical meaning of submission. Laurie shared this definition by using Christ as the example. Christ became sin so that I could be shown the grace of God, so I could stand before God holy, blameless, and spotless. In all of this, the son of God did not even count equality with God a thing to be grasped (Phil 2:6). He laid down his life for me, for you. Jesus is the example of true submission. I was stunned at the stark contrast, and was then reminded by the Holy Spirit that I too, for many years thought submitting in any way was to be done as Webster’s definition. To think about submitting to someone else can be scary, especially since we are told that we have to stand up for ourselves always because no one else will care for us like we care for ourselves. The current study, Falling In Love Again With Your Husband, has helped me learn, however, that I submit out of my desire to be obedient to Him because of who He is and what He has done for me. It is the Lord that gives me the desire and strength to submit and it is the Lord that gives me the strength to go against everything the world tells me without fear, and that’s definitely a moment by moment surrender.

To anyone who may be reading this and myself included—do not be a slave to fear, do not be bound by what a fallen world may think of you. Do not be stuck in the mindset of having to tip toe around God’s truth.  If you are in Christ you have been chosen before the foundations of the world by a mighty, merciful, all knowing God who saw fit to pull you from the pit of destruction. He saw fit to clean you up and set you apart for His glory. In a world that urges you to declare your independence you must stand upon the truth and unapologetically say “Yes, my life belongs to no one but Jesus. When I was dead in my own sin, when I deserved the wrath of God, a man name Jesus rescued me.” This means confessing in a self-focused culture that you did nothing and can do nothing to earn your salvation. That you are dependent. This means we must turn our back on the ways of the world without fear knowing that God EQUALLY has the ultimate authority in every man and woman.

Even when it is uncomfortable and widely unpopular we must firmly stand on truths that are hard for some to understand. We were specifically created for a purpose; we were created to glorify God and yes, to be a helpers fit for our husbands. I will submit to my husband because I first submit my life to Christ.

Do the media messages you see every day confuse your thoughts of truth? What are some messages you see that are hard to decipher if you should believe them or not? Let’s connect in the comments!

-All for His glory