Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman Day 8

She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night. (Proverbs 31:18 HCSB)

I think we’re beginning to see a trend here. The writer of the Proverbs 31 Woman really stresses just how hard she works. In this verse, we find her counting money that she’s likely earned from the clothing she sows, discovering it’s a good amount, and then she stays up late. Doing what? Working.

This verse isn’t saying she stays up late reading fiction novels, or watching a tv show. We can rightly assume she is still cleaning, or preparing for tomorrow’s breakfast, sowing more clothes, or praying.

Whatever this woman does even in the late hours is profitable. The Proverbs 31 Woman is not a time-waster. She utilizes every hour for good. Whether it’s gardening, washing clothes, or selling garments, she’s getting something important done for her family. This woman is notably sacrificial, and apparently, such women are difficult to find.

The mark of a powerful Proverbs 31 Woman is resourcefulness. She wakes up in the morning, and I’m sure after spending intimate time with the Lord, she’s off to work. Time is valuable to her, and she despises wasting it. She makes sure she gets as much done before she goes to sleep as she can. Laziness is foreign to her. She is on a mission to serve God by greatly sacrificing for her family.

This kind of holy determination is so pleasing to God. As we see, He blessed her with “good” profit. There are many a verse about the rewards of the diligent. And it’s not just wives God expects to be diligent and hardworking, but all of His children.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is an example even single sisters should imitate. Use your time wisely, serve zealously, and honor your Heavenly Father.

Proverbs 31 Woman Prayer

Abba, in Jesus’ name, thank You for Your Word, and thank You for Your Spirit who teaches me. Please help me to use my time effectively for your kingdom’s sake, and to always work hard and not grow weary in doing good. Help me honor You with My diligence. Amen.

Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman: Day 4

“She selects wool and flax and works with willing hands.” (Proverbs 31:13)

Now this is something I’m not sure I’ll ever come to do: sew. But, I don’t have small children running around yet, and I’m not a full-time house wife, though I only work part-time babysitting. Plus, I consider sewing an investment, and the basic idea can still be applied in other ways.

For example: I write. Writing novels is work. It takes a lot out of your brain (and hands and eyes). I do have ebooks, though I haven’t even broken even yet, but that’s not the point. I write to bring others closer to Christ, to better understand His love and His will. If I close my laptop and refuse to write, I am refusing to use this gift for God.

Using your gifts with willingness is an essential quality of the Proverbs 31 Woman. Are you lazy, bitter, insecure, or simply don’t want to use your gifts? Or do you look for opportunities to serve with your gifts, to love and help those around you to become more like Christ? I’m preaching to myself here too.

I can teach, you know I write, I’m driven, I have stamina for prayer and intercession, but if I don’t use these gifts with my 100% best effort, I’m wasting them. If I want to become a Proverbs 31 Woman, I need to work with willingness, diligence, and excellence.

Whatever your gifts are, I pray you use them willingly, knowing God is the one who gave them to you not for you, but for others. And know this: it doesn’t matter if your using your gift of praise before thousands, or before two little children, use it willingly and God will use it to do exceedingly above and beyond what you can ask or think.

If you devote yourself to good works, utilizing your gifts, you will be all the more a Proverbs 31 Woman.

Proverbs 31 Woman Prayer:

Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name I ask that you forgive me for not using my gifts with my 100% best effort. I pray whatever is holding me back will be torn down and taken out of the way. I pray You would empower me to use all my gifts for Your glory and for loving and building up others in the faith. Give me a willing heart, and renew a right spirit within me. Amen.

Becoming A Proverbs 31 Woman: Day 2

“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good.”-Proverbs 31:11

Yesterday, we spoke about the powerful woman/wife in Christ in Day 1 of this How to Become A Proverbs 31 Woman study. Today, we zero-in on the second verse describing this amazing woman, and notice two essential qualities:

1.) She’s trustworthy

2.) Her husband doesn’t lack anything good

You may be a trustworthy woman when it comes to your mom, your sister, or your best friend, but what about when it comes to your husband? Do you speak only well of him in front of others, or do you hang up his dirty laundry (if he has any) for all to see? Do you speak down to him, or build him up? Are your eyes and heart only for him? Can he count on you to guard your heart from wolves, to not disrespect him by flirting with other men?

There are things wives can sometimes do that cause their husband to keep to himself and not trust you. You want him to tell you why he’s down, but if he does, you’ll go spill it to your mom. You want him to trust that you’re just going to the store, but you flirt with and text or Facebook other men like it’s nothing, or keep close friendships with other men. You tell your husband, “He’s just my ex from a long time ago, don’t worry about it, we’re just friends.” You don’t think this causes your husband to suspect?

Instead of giving your hubby reasons to trust you, you’re foolishly giving him reasons not to. He probably thinks, “why can’t she let that ex go? Does she still care about him?”

Trustworthiness is not something that is given freely. It is earned. Just because you’re his wife, does not make you automatically trustworthy. You need to prove you’re trustworthy by your actions. This is what causes him to give you more and more of his heart and not withhold any of it from you.

Now what about the next quality?

As a powerful wife, your husband should lack no good thing. A weak wife withholds sex from her husband. A wife who walks by her flesh and not by the Holy Spirit tears her husband down with her words and attitude, rather than build him up with her respect. If you are withholding what is good for your husband, you are not yet a Proverbs 31 woman.

“But what if my husband is a total jerk?”

While Christ was getting ridiculed and spat upon when hanging on that cross did He say, “forget you all, you’re jerks!” and ascend into heaven, leaving them to die in their sins?

If love is conditional, it’s not real love. If you only give respect because your husband has met your standards, you are not doing him good, you are harming his soul.

Men do not thrive where there is no respect. Men either turn bitter, or they bow their heads and give up their responsibilities because they feel inadequate. In either case, this is not what you want to help produce in your husband.

Now, I’m not saying the way your husband behaves is all your fault, he must own up for his actions, but what I am saying is you have no right to return evil for evil. In fact, as a Christian, you are commanded to do the opposite.

Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)

You can leave if your husband is cheating on you, or physically abusing you or the children, I am not saying submit to that, but you cannot disrespect him and do evil against him for anything he does. God is not pleased when we lash out and repay evil with evil. No matter how justified you think you are, God will judge you for every evil action you do whether to the wicked or to the just.

If your husband isn’t abusing you or cheating on you, you don’t have a right to leave him or disrespect him. You are commanded to bring him good all the days of his life, despite how he treats you.

If you are going through a hard time, call on Christ who is stronger than any emotion or hurt in your life. He can heal you, even in the midst of your situation and give you the power to always do good. In this is your freedom: in Christ. If you think a divorce or a new husband is the answer, you are wrong. Peace is a state of heart, not of circumstance. Christ is the Prince of a Peace, He alone gives it. In this life we will always have tribulation, whether married or single, and that is why Christ commands, “be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” In Him, you too can overcome every painful situation. You can walk in the victory Christ alone gives always, if you surrender to His leading.

Get into the Word and resolve to obey your God, no matter what. I promise, you will be blessed with joy and peace like never before.

Proverbs 31 Woman Prayer:

Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name I pray You enable me to be completely trustworthy and to bring good to my husband all the days of his life. Heal me of all hurts, help me to forgive and love and respect unconditionally. Amen.

Those Girls Need More Than A Purity Sermon

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I received an email today from a sister who leads a girls’ youth group. She was asking if I knew of any Christian resources on the topic of make-up. I don’t, except the bible, but truly, the young women in her group could probably benefit more from

prayer, encouragement, listening ears, hugs, food, basically practical displays of love, and a deep teaching of the Word.

Without prayer, you can pretty much throw in the towel for the souls of those God has entrusted you with. You have to realize their lives are being hunted by satan himself. The battle we wage is not against flesh-and-blood, but against spiritual forces of darkness.

So these girls you meet with need much more than a discussion on outward appearances. Before any of that even comes into play, the battle for their souls needs to be won. And soul-winning comes through prayer and the Word.

Cover those young women in prayer every day, and then speak the truth to them in love. They need to understand the gospel and truly receive Christ, then they need to be taught the deep riches of the Word.

If they have insecurity issues and think they need makeup, it’s a spiritual issue at play, a divine inner-healing that needs to take place and only God’s truth and prayer can deliver that freedom.

So I encourage you, if you are leading a youth group, love the girls by praying for them and putting a huge emphasis on the Word of God. Listen to their needs. Don’t just talk at them. Be there for them, give them your number. Let them know you’re available, that you have and will make time for them. And once you begin to disciple them in this way, you will see them start to stand on their own. They will flourish before your eyes, and the goal should be to get them to a place where they don’t need you anymore (the church does need one another, but we all have to grow to a place of maturity in our faith where even if our first mama in Christ leaves or dies, or God-forbid falls away, our faith isn’t shipwrecked).

May the girls you disciple grow to be strong women of God, holy and honorable, ready to disciple their own flock someday.

Amen.

Christian Women: Be Careful How You Speak To Men

The way we Christian women relate to the opposite sex, particularly the way we speak to them, is crucial on so many levels.

1.) It can glorify/magnify God’s name, or dishonor/defame His holy name.

2.) It can build up our brothers, or hinder or tear down our brothers.

3.) It can cause you to be desirable as a wife, or make brothers steer very clear from you.

Let’s tackle these one-by-one.

1.) If you say you follow Christ, then it is rightly expected of you to be obedient to His commands. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) If His word tells us to win our husbands over without a word, simply by our respectful behavior, and we don’t do that, how are we showing the world we love Him? If a non-Christian sees you arguing with your husband or brother in the Lord, talking down at him, or raising your voice at him, how does that make Christ look?

2.) Your words can encourage a man to soar on wings like an eagle into God’s destiny for his life, or shoot him down like a hunted duck. You can clip his wings with your belittling words and rebukes and have him be a bird that can’t fly so he just stays comfortable at home, or you can be the gasoline that fuels him forward like a jet-plane. Let’s leave the rebuking and exhorting men for other godly men, and use our conversations with them to encourage and uplift. The women around Jesus helped His ministry continue, they offered what they could to benefit Him. And when Martha spoke to Him in a belittling manner, telling Him what He ought to do regarding her sister rather than meekly asking Him for help, or just keeping quiet and trusting He saw her need, He corrected her. Let’s be like Mary, who humbly sat at Jesus’ feet. Instead of confronting our brothers or husband with boldness like Martha did, let’s humbly appeal to them as Esther did with her husband. An appeal is a request or reference to some person or authority for a decision, corroboration, judgment, etc. Don’t come to men as if they’re your child. Come to them respectfully and speak to them as what they are called to be—a leader.

3.) If whenever you speak to brothers, you’re very authoritative and bold, you can scare them off. They can look at you as head-strong and although they may appreciate your courage, they can think that as a wife, you’ll be a head-butter. A gentle and quiet spirit is beautiful both to God and man. You can have bold faith, but you don’t have to tell men what they ought to be doing or what they’re doing wrong. You can appeal to them and ask them to consider some things, but the moment you start boldly calling out stuff, you can quickly become unattractive to them. Watch your tongue around your brothers in Christ. If you speak at them with authority, many times, even if you’re right, they’ll reject your counsel because you’re saying it the wrong way. Been there done that with my husband in our dating days and some more now in marriage and I’ll tell ya, it doesn’t work nor is it beneficial to him.

Our society has been very effective in emboldening women, and I don’t think it’s entirely a good thing. Now before you blow a fuze and start labeling me sexist, please finish this blog post.

In biblical times (thousands of years ago), women were very gentle and submissive to their male-counterparts. And what was the result? Lots of love from their husbands and lots of amazing male leaders. How did I come up with such a conclusion? Ruth, Esther, Rebekah, were all greatly loved and esteemed by their husbands, and their husbands were great leaders who God used in hugely significant ways, like legacy-status, and their wives played major parts in their husband’s legacies.

Now-a-days you got women fighting men, belittling men, hating men, competing with men, and what’s the outcome? Men are becoming weaker leaders, or simply stepping down from the leadership position altogether, not going out there and working hard, then some of us wonder why they’re behaving in such a way. I’m not saying having freedoms is a bad thing, but when we use them to treat men the way I previously described, it’s not God-honoring. And I don’t want to place all the blame on us women, however, I’m certainly placing some of it on us.

I’ve come a long way, but God is still working on me in this area. So if any of this rings true with you, just repent. Come to God with this sin and He will lovingly embrace you. Ask for His help in walking in self-control and using your tongue to build up your brothers. You really can do all things through Christ because He strengthens you so you can obey Him, as long as you’re willing.

In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the Christian message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives. Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. (Titus 3:1, 2)

Praying for you,

Natasha

I’m A Woman & I Want To Use My Words To Build Men Up, Not Tear Them Down

We women can talk your ear off. God has given us a fountain of words that almost never run dry, and I think part of the reason is so we can use them to build men up.

Even if a man isn’t walking yet in His God-given role of leadership, that is no excuse for us women to talk down to them. The words of a woman are powerful: they can be used like mortar, helping build up a man brick by brick, or like a sledge-hammer, tearing him down floor by floor.

A gentle and quiet spirit is beautiful. A man will fall in love with a counterfeit woman of God who falsely flatters to get hers, or a truly godly woman who encourages and sees him as Christ does.

What kind of woman will you be to the men around you? Will you be like Jezebel, or Esther? Job’s wife, or Ruth?

Decide today you’re gonna use that mouth of yours for good and not evil, to build up, not tear down, to strengthen, not weaken, to heal, not wound.

If you’re an encourager, your future (or current) husband will be able to say, “I have found a good thing and have obtained favor with the Lord.”

Katy Perry: Please Come Home

Dear Kate Hudson,

As I write this, tears blur my vision and fall from my eyes. I don’t know the number of hairs on your head, I’ve never even seen you in person, yet here I am, crying for you. I can’t imagine how Your Creator, the very One who fashioned you in your mother’s womb, who gave you your beautiful big blue eyes, and that incredible voice, the One who wrote every day of your life before a single one of them came to be—I can’t imagine how He must weep for you.

Do you remember the shortest verse in the Bible? “Jesus wept.”

The only way I can rationalize your turning away from so Great a Love is that you must not have truly known Him. How could it be possible to forsake the most perfect, good, amazing Being in the Universe? The Perfect Man who left His heavenly home to live on this dark earth for thirty-three long years and then be brutally beaten and die, suffering hell—eternal separation from God—for all mankind. For you.

How must He feel when He sees what has happened to your heart? How lost you must be, how blind to the fact that Satan laughs because he sees your destruction. He lifts people up only to drag them down. For he hates humans with a perfect hatred. After all, God made us in His very image, and through Christ He offers us all ever Satan wanted—the throne.

Christians are a royal priesthood. Sons and daughters of the Supreme King. He offers us a crown, and the ability to rule alongside Him. This is what Satan wanted, to be exalted, but instead, he was cast down, thrown from heaven, and his end is eternal destruction because of his rebellion.

Do you not see? You may have fame and riches here on earth, but would you truly cast yourself into eternal fire for things that can be taken from you at any second, whenever the Giver and Taker of life decides your time is up?

You must not understand what you’re doing. Satan is the father of all lies. He can be very convincing. But I pray you see the Truth. I pray you understand how God’s wrath abides on the disobedient. How Satan’s demons trembled at the presence of Christ, and how He rules over all. There is no escaping God’s judgement. Do you wish to face Him as Father, or as Sword-bearer?

I’m pleading with you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to your Creator. You can forsake death and destruction and be embraced by a Love worth living for.

You may never read this, but know that I am praying for you. But more importantly, know that Jesus truly does love you. And there is no one who will ever come an inch close to loving you as deeply as He does.

I pray you come back home.