Christian Compositions - Conservative Christian Music

Mar
9

A Cancer or A Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 8

Part 8 – The Cure

The only way that any of us can truly succeed as wives is through the grace and power of God. Just as a cancer or even a cavity must have any decay or damaged tissue removed, any infection cleared up, and sometimes protective measures added, so we must be willing to repair and strengthen our marriages with the Lord’s help. How then do we acquire and apply the cure we need?

  1. Acknowledge your failures. (Ps. 51:3)


    Be willing to be honest with yourself and with your spouse. It is easy to get defensive or to blame our failures on someone else, but the first step to change and healing is a willingness to take responsibility for our own actions. No excuses. No accusations.

  2. Ask for forgiveness. (I Jn. 1:9)

    First, ask forgiveness from God.

    In any area we know we have not obeyed the Lord, we need to ask His forgiveness. Whether it is a bad attitude, a lack of submission, an uncontrolled tongue or temper, or a myriad of other possibilities, we can receive forgiveness if we confess our sin to the Lord.

    Just a reminder, confession is not “informing” the Lord of what I have done. He already knows. It is agreeing with Him and acknowledging that His view of my sin is right and my actions or attitudes were wrong, and asking for His forgiveness.


    Then, ask forgiveness from your spouse.

    This one is always hard because swallowing our pride is a bitter pill; however, genuine repentance is necessary if our relationship is going to be restored and changed. We need to be careful not to just say, “I’m sorry if…” or “I’m sorry…”, but instead ask for forgiveness for the specific things we have done. Depending on the level of hurt already involved, the response may not be what we would hope for, but their response is not our responsibility; our repentance and change is.

  3. Act by faith (Pro. 3:5-6)


    Trust & obey God’s blueprint for a godly wife. Don’t commit to doing right as a wife in order to improve your husband. Don’t commit to doing right as a wife in order to improve your marriage. Commit to doing right as a wife to be right with the Lord and to please Him, then trust Him to work in your husband’s heart if that is needed. Trust Him to help your relationship to be what He would have it to be.

    Genuine faith requires obedience. Some practical ways to take steps of obedience are:

    * Make a list of the areas where you find yourself struggling. Perhaps ask your husband to read through these posts and tell you where he feels you need to improve.

    * Make each area a matter of serious prayer. Be specific!

    * Take that list and write down the biblical response in each area. What are specific ways you need to make changes?

    You may not be able to accomplish all of them in a day, but pray about each one and be willing and obedient as the Lord shows you from His Word things you need to do. Many verses have been listed in this study, but there are many more, and the Lord will bring more to your attention in specific areas if you are seeking His help. Read them. Memorize them. Meditate on them. Put the principles and commands He gives into practice.

  4. Ask for filling.


    Pray and ask God to fill you with His Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit, we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).  The Holy Spirit can teach us how to be the wives our husbands need. He can give the healing our marriages need. He can give us wisdom and power to carry out His will. The question is, do we want Him to? Are we willing to obey His commands and be sensitive to His promptings?

I encourage you to allow and trust the Lord to fashion you into a crown that is both beautiful and glorifying to Himself and your husband.

Find all of the previous posts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

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Mar
7

A Cancer or A Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 7

Part 7 – Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan, cont.

  1. She gives him only what is profitable (Pro. 31:12; Pro 16:24: Tit. 2:5).


“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Pro. 31:12)

A crown represents something precious.

It is something valuable and beautiful. God speaks very highly of the worth and value of a virtuous woman (Pro. 31:10). Her character and nature are both beautiful and beneficial to her husband.

God’s Word teaches us that one of the vital ways we can be a “crown” to our husbands is by simply doing good to him – not some of the time, or most of the time, but all of the time. This includes doing him good, and not evil, when he isn’t so kind or good himself (see I Pet. 2 and 3 and Luke 6:35).

Genuine kindness, courtesy, thoughtfulness, service, and honesty are just a few of the important ways that we can do good to our husbands all the days of our lives (I Pet. 3:8-17). We need to ask the Lord to help us to be the kind of wife that is always seeking the good of our husbands, who is always looking for ways to benefit and help him.

  1. She glorifies his position (Pro. 12:4; 31:11, 23; I Pet. 3:1-6).

A crown symbolizes power.

A king has authority whether he wears a crown or not, but when he wears the beautiful crown on his head, others can see and recognize the authority and position he holds. In much the same way, God has given the husband authority in the home. Whether we recognize or honor that authority doesn’t change the fact that it’s there. However, when we as wives choose to honor the position of authority that God has given to our husbands, we are truly a crown to him.

A verse that is not culturally popular today is Ephesians 5:33, “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” We all like the first half of this verse, but often we aren’t so sure about the second half. The reverence we are commanded to give in this Scripture doesn’t speak of worship, but of an attitude of honor, respect, and deference.

We need to look for ways to show our husbands that we respect the position God has given them in our homes and in our hearts. He is to be our leader and our counselor. Some practical ways to do this are to speak respectfully to him. As mentioned in an earlier post, guard the tone of your voice and the look on your face. Speak respectfully of him to your children and to others.

Perhaps your husband is not respectable in your mind (and maybe he truly isn’t). Speak first and often of him to the Lord. Speak only of his faults or failures to others when necessary, and do so with compassion. If you need counsel, seek godly counsel, preferably from an older woman or from your pastor and his wife.

Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was mentioned by God as an example for us in this area. She demonstrated respect and honor to her husband in the way she spoke to him and of him (I Pet. 3:5-6). We should seek to do the same.

  1. She is grateful for his provision (Pro. 31:21-23; 26)

A crown is a proclamation.

Unlike the “rotten bones” which are under the surface and invisible for a long while, a crown is a public display.

In Proverbs 31:21-23, 26, we see that the virtuous woman is well-provided for and she is grateful for what she has. Her attitude of thankfulness isn’t based primarily on what she has been given, but on who she is. Virtue and humility go hand in hand and always produce a grateful spirit. Pride and selfish expectations also go hand in hand and result in attitudes of ingratitude, complaining, and entitlement.

Gratitude is so important! Thankfulness that isn’t expressed is wasted. Be sincere; flattery is manipulation so don’t say nice things you don’t mean, or just because you want something. However, be sure to say thank you often to your husband. Find ways to show your appreciation to him and for him. Be careful not to thank him only for material provisions (although you should be thankful for those), but thank him for who he is and what he does. Is he a hard worker? Thank him? A good provider? Thank him. A faithful husband? Thank him. A good dad? Thank him. A thoughtful mate? Thank him. A kind friend? Thank him.

A grateful wife is a crown to her husband.

  1. She gains his praise (Pro. 31:28, 30-31)

A crown represents pride.

I am not referring to pride in an arrogant or even personal sense, but by this definition from Merriam-Webster dictionary: “An asset that brings praise or renown”.

While we honor and praise him, we also earn the honor and praise we desire. Every woman wants to be praised by her husband, to be seen as an asset that is valuable, precious, and worthy of recognition, but so many times we seek that attention, admiration, and appreciation in all the wrong ways. Seek to be a wife that your husband can respect and praise, not just for superficial qualities, but for your godly character and care for him. Seek to be that virtuous woman whose price is “far above rubies”.

Remember that ultimately the One whose praise we should most desire is the Lord’s. If He finds our efforts praiseworthy, we can rest and rejoice in that knowledge.

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Pro. 31:28-31)

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”

Remember this, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord…”. You cannot change “the king”, but you can choose to be the crown.

If you have been a “cancer” to your husband instead of a “crown”, do not despair! There is hope! Don’t miss Part 8 – The Cure – Applying God’s Healing Power

Have you missed a previous post?

Post 1
Post 2
Post 3
Post 4
Post 5
Post 6

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Mar
5

A Cancer Or a Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 6

Part 6 – The Crown – Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan

In the last post, we learned about some of the characteristics of “rotten bones” and the tragic prognosis if the underlying issues are left untreated. I found it fascinating as I studied that many (not all) diseases of the bone are caused by deficiencies. Some are caused by nutritional deficiencies – a lack of Vitamin D, calcium, and other important nutrients. Some are caused by a lack of blood supply to the affected bone(s). While some have genetic or other origins, the majority were caused by deficiencies.

I make note of this because it is true that our wrong attitudes and actions can be very damaging and detrimental to our husbands. It is equally true that it is not enough to just try to avoid that which is wrong. We need to be sure that we are providing the essential nutrients that our husbands need.

Please don’t misunderstand. We, as wives, can never provide for our husbands what only God can give. There are certain “lifelines” that we can never provide. These must flow from the source of life, the Lord Jesus Himself. However, God does give us clear instruction for how He desires us to behave toward our husbands. As we examine the characteristics of a good and godly wife, I hope that it will motivate us to seek to please the Lord as we love and serve our husbands. There are specific responsibilities that God has placed upon us as wives, and He desires to help provide for our husbands’ needs through us. I hope that each of us will desire that our husbands will not have deficiencies in their lives because we are not fulfilling the role that God intended for us.

As we have considered the harm that the wrong kind of wife can inflict, I am grateful that the mirror of the Word of God does not just reveal what is wrong in our lives, it is also profitable for correction and instruction in righteousness. God teaches us how to be wives that will please Him and protect and honor our husbands.

So, what are some of the “crowning characteristics” of the virtuous woman toward her husband?

  1. She guards his passion (Pro. 31:11).

A crown symbolizes protection.

Remember that the word “crown” has the idea of encircling and protecting. As wives, one of our most important duties is that of guarding the heart of our husband. The key verse in Proverbs 31 is verse 11, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…”.

We certainly cannot do this without the Lord’s help, but with His help, we need to seek to ensure that our husbands can always trust us.

Our husbands should be able to trust our virtue. They should be able to trust us with their dreams and even their fears. They should be able to trust us with their children, their money, and their confidences. There should be no area of life where our husbands cannot safely trust in us.

Trust is vital to any successful relationship. If you have broken trust in the past, be willing to work to restore it. Be willing to be accountable and to set safeguards in place to help “shore up” any areas of weakness.

  1. She guides his place (Pro. 31:12-24, 27, 31; I Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:5)


    A crown symbolizes provision
    .

It is a visible reminder of the resources the king has at his disposal. A dirty and tarnished crown would be a poor reflection on the king. In the same way, we should desire to be a crown to our husbands by being good stewards of the resources he provides.

In I Timothy 5:14, God says that we are to “…guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

As we look through Proverbs 31, we see that the virtuous woman was a capable and diligent homemaker. She took her job seriously. The Bible says in verse 27, “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” In verse 13 it says, “…she worketh willingly with her hands.”

In these verses, we see that she not only did the right thing – she worked – but she did it with the right attitude – willingly. She got up early to make preparations for the day. She made sure that her family had adequate food and clothing. She was careful with the finances and made things that she could sell. (By the way, this does not imply that she was some type of modern-day career woman. She made things at home and delivered them to the merchant. Her primary place of industry and influence was in her home.)

She paid attention not only to practicality, but to beauty as well. “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry, her clothing is silk and purple.” (Pro. 31:22)

As wives, we need to take our role as keepers at home seriously (Tit. 2:4-5). We need to do our work willingly and well. This doesn’t mean our homes have to be a “showplace”, but we should do our work there with as much energy and enthusiasm as we would if someone were paying us to do it. We should be creative and conscientious about the care and keeping of our homes. When we do, our husbands will find home a place of rest and enjoyment, not a place to which he dreads returning each day. Seek to make your home is a place of which your husband is not ashamed.

  1. She gratifies him physically (Pro. 31:11; Pro. 5; I Cor. 7)

A crown symbolizes possession.

Not just any man can wear a king’s crown. It belongs exclusively to him.

As wives, we need to remember that the marital relationship is a beautiful and exclusive one. There are many things that other people can do or provide for my husband if I cannot, but this area of marriage is the responsibility of the wife and no one else. Because of that, if we fail to provide for our husbands sexually, we are leaving him with a dangerous deficiency and vulnerability.

Isn’t it strange that  many people seem to have no problem watching or talking about immorality, yet talking about physical intimacy in marriage often seems to be uncomfortable or off-limits? Worse yet, sex in marriage is often treated as something foolish or burdensome, even by Christian women. We should always have modesty, prudence, and discretion when talking about sexuality, but God does have some clear guidelines in this area, and we would be wise to learn and follow them and to teach them to the next generation as well.

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled…” (Heb. 13:4). Sexual intimacy in marriage was created by God and is seen as honorable by God. Our world has the idea that sex before or outside of marriage is exciting and gratifying, but that sex within marriage is dull and unfulfilling. Shame on us if we believe, practice, or promote that lie! God’s Word teaches just the opposite. Hebrews 13:4 begins with, “Marriage is honorable…”, but continues, “…but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” God desires that the intimate, physical part of marriage be beautiful, enjoyable, and fulfilling for both spouses.

He warns us about the dangers of withholding ourselves physically from our spouse unless it is by agreement by both parties for the purpose of prayer and fasting (I Cor. 7). I’ve heard a lot of reasons why women withhold sex from their husbands, but I’ve yet to hear that one!

There is no doubt that there are times when we are physically ill or have other legitimate reasons, but these should be the exception, not the rule.

God commands our husbands to be satisfied and “ravished” always with our love (Pro. 5), but it is more than a little bit difficult for him to do that if we are always avoiding him. Look for ways to stay in love with your husband, not just emotionally, but physically. Flirt with him. Make time for him. Let him know how much you love him.

There are still four more ways we can be a crown to our husband! Don’t miss Part 7, Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan, cont.

Did you miss the first five posts? You can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

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Mar
4

A Cancer or A Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 5

Part 5 – Understanding the Prognosis

Her Finish & His Future

“…is as rottenness in his bones.” (Pro. 12:4)

God says that a wife who makes her husband ashamed becomes like a disease that eats away at his innermost self. Bones are the support, structure, and strength of a person. They give stability. They protect vital organs.

What are some characteristics of bone disease? A bone disease is:

  1. privateIt is internal and, for a long while, invisible.
  2. painfulIt becomes irritated, inflamed, intense, sensitive and susceptible.
  3. pervasiveIt can become infected and decay can spread.
  4. problematicIt creates instability, weakness, and eventually brokenness.
  5. permanentIf untreated, it can cause permanent injury or death.

One of the striking things about diseases in the bone (or tooth) is that they often are not evident until they are fairly advanced and there is a lot of internal damage already done.

Another important fact about bones is that where the outside protective “barrier” and layers of a bone are hard, the inside tissue is soft, and that is where the “marrow”, the life of the blood and the body, is produced. The cells that fight infection are produced there. When bones become “rotten”, and that inside, tender part is damaged or diseased, it can destroy the strength of the entire bone, and eventually the entire person.

That is a very fitting picture of this type of problem in a marriage. A wife who shames her husband eats away at the hidden, tender part of him. He may not show any signs of how deeply he is damaged until one day he “snaps”, or until a raging “infection” seems to take over the marriage. Often in these cases, a wife says, “How did that happen so quickly?” Or, “Why did that one thing I said or did turn into such a big deal?” It’s because it didn’t happen quickly. It was just the thing that made the underlying problem evident.

When someone has osteoporosis, their bones become very brittle and weak. Often, they fall and their bones break; but sometimes, in advanced stages, it is the other way around. The bones simply break while they are standing or walking, and that causes them to fall.

When a marriage is being eroded by these harmful types of attitudes and behaviors, “normal” pressures of life can sometimes cause things to come to a breaking point. It is not always something catastrophic.

 We have looked very closely at what types of behavior are damaging and destructive to a husband. Perhaps you have recognized one or more of those behaviors in yourself. It can be difficult to see. Thankfully, God also shows us the beautiful opposite that He desires and will help us to achieve if we allow Him. Find out in Part 6 – Displaying God’s Beautiful Plan

Want to read the previous posts? You can find them here:

Part 1 – Blind Spots
Part 2 – A Vivid Illustration
Part 3 – Diagnosing the Disease
Part 4 – Diagnosing the Disease, cont.

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Mar
3

A Cancer or a Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 4

Part 4 – Diagnosing the Disease, cont.

In Part 3, we examined the first five ways we can make our husbands ashamed. How are you doing so far? As we look at the final two ways, I encourage you to do so with a humble and sincere heart.

    6. She reacts without prudence. She is unwise.

I remember my mom telling me many years ago that while I may not be accountable for the actions of others, but I am always accountable for my reactions to them. Through the years I have learned how right she is.

Many times, I fail in my marriage and other areas of my life, not so much in my actions as in my reactions. Someone wrongs me, and I lash out. Someone starts a conversation, and I feel I must “finish” it. Someone hurts me, and I hurt them back. The list could go on…

There are (at least) four areas in which we must learn to react prudently as wives:

  • Our tongues

All of our words should be “with grace” (Col. 4:6). The virtuous woman has the “law of kindness” in her tongue (Pro. 31:26). This includes not just our words, but our tone of voice. Many women shame their husbands by the words they speak and how they speak them.

Consider: If other people overheard you talking to your husband, would they think you are treating him like a friend or an enemy? Like someone you cherish or despise? Like someone you respect deeply or disdain? Like someone you admire or criticize? Like a leader or a child? Like someone you praise or belittle? Like someone you appreciate or disapprove?

Our tone of voice and body language speaks volumes even when the words can’t be deciphered. In fact, they are usually more honest.

  • Our tempers

Every man is shamed by a contentious and angry woman! Read that again. Then read the book of Proverbs! Belligerent, outspoken, angry women create unhappy, ashamed husbands. When we are constantly frustrated and angry, when we feel that we must always make our point, when we refuse to have a meek and quiet spirit, we are destroying our husbands and our marriages. (Pro. 19:13; 21:9, 19; 25:24; 27:15)

 A man who is constantly confronted by a contentious and angry woman will find his “corner” and stay there. A man would far prefer living in the “corner of the housetop” or dwelling “in the wilderness” to spending time with a contentious wife.

  • Our timing

This one takes a lot of prudence and discretion. Many times, what we have to say is right, but we choose the wrong time to say it. Whether it be that we address an issue in front of people instead of privately, or that we decide to bring up a topic for discussion when our husbands are tired or just not ready for it, timing is important. We need to learn to pray (first and often!) and be sensitive to our husbands and their needs if we are going to get this right. (Pro. 12:16, 23; 16:21; 19:14)

  • Our telling

Again, this has to do with our tongues, but I think this needs to stand alone. We need to be very careful about sharing details of our married lives and our husbands with other people. Whether it be in conversation, or on social media, many times we get caught up in, “Oh, your husband did that? Well, you should hear why my husband does!” And before we realize it, we have shared intimate details about our husbands. Even if it is something that seems insignificant, when we divulge things that should be kept private, we erode the trust of our husbands.

Many wives lament that their husbands never open up to them, never “share” their thoughts or feelings with them. Perhaps it is because their husbands are afraid that any confidences they share will be “shared” with others. If we want the hearts of our husbands to “safely trust” in us, we must be willing to earn and keep that trust. (Pro. 31:11; 17:28; 11:12)

By the way, because this series is about our marriage, and involves some stories about us, I asked my husband if he was comfortable with my sharing it before I ever started. Without his approval and encouragement, I would not have.

7. She represents him poorly. She is undisciplined.

Now, before you go getting all defensive on me, I’m not talking about trying to be a “trophy wife”. However, if you look at the Proverbs 31 woman (which we are going to do), she worked hard and took care about her appearance, her home, and her children. She was a disciplined woman.

One of the aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is temperance. We often call it self-control, but for the child of God, it is Holy Spirit control. I have discovered that the hardest person to control in my home is myself. I want very much to control my husband and my children, but I have a tendency to just let myself go…and so do you.

Here are some areas we need to work on if we want to be sure that we are not making our husbands ashamed of us in this area:

  • In her appearance (Pro. 31:17, 22)

By this, I do not mean that you have to be a certain weight, or body type, or wear lots of makeup, or be a style maven. I do mean that sometimes we are just lazy. We don’t really care what we look like, and rarely think that this might reflect on our husbands. Worse yet, sometimes we only care about how we look for others, but give no attention to our appearance for our husbands when we are at home. We should seek first to please the Lord with our appearance. After that, our top priority should be pleasing our husbands (not ourselves).

Allow me to share a personal example. I like to be frugal (and that’s not bad!), and I do not like to spend a lot of money on clothes or shoes. I don’t mind shopping at thrift stores or yard sales. In fact, I love it! I also love comfy clothes, and if I find something in my wardrobe that I like, I tend to want to keep it forever. I’m not really all that bothered if people don’t like my wardrobe or appearance, but when we first got married, it really seemed to bother my husband. For quite some time, I could not understand it. I would think, “He should be happy, right? I’m trying to save him money. It doesn’t bother me, so why should it bother him? Why do I feel like he’s ashamed of me?”

One day he tried to explain it to me, and I finally understood. My husband is a very hard worker and a very good provider. He does his best to make sure that all my needs are met, and a lot of my wants! He appreciates my frugality, but at the same time, when I wear shoes that are completely worn out (not because I don’t have more, but just because I don’t want to part with them), it appears that he isn’t taking care of me. Call me clueless, but I had never considered that the way I dressed (not just modestly or immodestly), but the care and condition of my clothing, would reflect on my husband and his role as my provider. I have worked much harder since then on my appearance, because he does take very good care of me, and I want everyone to know it!

Consider: Before you were married, when you were trying to win your husband, did you pay attention to your appearance more than you do now? Did you try to find out what were his favorite colors for you to wear, what perfume he liked, how he liked you to style your hair, and other preferences? Do you still seek to please him in those areas and more? We need to be aware that if we do not seek to please our husbands, someone else will.

Also, I know that certain stages of life make this more difficult. I also know that when something matters to us (for example, going somewhere or seeing someone “important”) we somehow make the time and effort to get a shower, put on nice clothing, and fix our hair. Whether we intend it or not, when we only do those things when we’re leaving the house, or seeing someone whose opinion we value, we are telling our husbands that they are not important to us.

  • In her administration. (Pro. 31:13-24, 27)

Ladies, we are to be the stewards of our homes. The Bible says that we are to “guide the house” (I Tim. 5:14). While our husbands are to be the head, we are to be the managers. When we do a poor job in any of the following areas, we shame our husbands. We will see this in more detail when we look at the virtuous woman, but we are responsible for our own wise administration and stewardship:

    • of the finances,
    • of maintaining the home,
    • of training and caring for the children, if we have any. 
  • In her actions

Again, how we behave reflects not only on us, but on our husbands. When we take his name, we also take the responsibility of keeping that name untarnished (Pro. 22:1).

  • In her attitudes (Pro. 30:23)

Proverbs has a lot to say about this one! A wife who is contentious, angry, “odious” (hateful), flirtatious, sensual, (to anyone besides her husband for the previous two), stubborn, arrogant, bossy…the list could go on, shames her husband. Our attitudes reflect on our husbands, and they can be very hurtful.

Whew! That was a big list! We have seen some of the ways that a wife can her husband ashamed. We still have one important thing to examine from the Word of God before we move on to more encouraging news. What is the result of this shameful type of behavior? Find out in Part 5.

If you missed the previous parts, you can find them here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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Feb
29

A Cancer or a Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 3

Part 3 – Diagnosing the Disease

In the past two posts, we have learned that the Bible says that a wife who makes her husband ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. If we are going to know how NOT to be this type of wife, we must be able to identify the ways we can be this type of wife. While I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list, the seven things that are going to be listed cover the primary ways in which a wife can shame her husband.

Before we begin this part, I would like to remind you of the illustration about blind spots that I shared in the first post. Sometimes, when driving, our first awareness of a blind spot may be brought about by a blaring horn or the squeal of brakes, or it could be just a casual glance that reveals a car you were completely unaware of and are about to hit! In either case, often our first reaction is a quick overreaction as we swerve to avoid a collision, or slam on the brakes. Our next reaction is often anger, fear, or both. We often quickly blame the other driver or some other circumstance. The truth is, while other factors may be involved, blind spot collisions are almost always the fault of the driver who just failed to see the other vehicle.

I share this illustration again because in the next two posts as we go through this list of ways we can be a wife who brings shame, I suspect some of the same reactions may occur. When the bright light of the Word of God suddenly shines on a “blind spot” in our life, it can be a bit disconcerting. It may make us angry or frightened, or both. Our initial reaction may be to “overreact”, or to point fingers and assign blame. It may bring us a great deal of grief or pain as we realize how near a collision we are…or perhaps that one has already occurred. Even more grief may come as we come to grips with the fact that we may be the ones at fault.

Please, don’t stop reading for any of those reasons. While the initial “jolt” may be painful, it is not the end. We can only correct those blind spots when we become aware of them and are willing to make the proper adjustments. God’s Word will help us, not only to see where we are wrong, but to make those things right.

With that in mind, let’s look at the first few ways a wife can shame her husband.

  1. She refuses his position. She is unsubmissive.

The Bible clearly teaches that as wives we are to submit to the authority of our husbands (Eph. 5:25-31). While we may know this is so, we also know that this is hard to do! Truthfully, there are times when we may not feel respect for them personally or agree with the decisions they are making, but we are still to respect the position that God has given them, and we are to treat them with respect and reverence. When we do not, not only are we being disobedient to God, we are hurting our husbands.

This study is not going to be in-depth or comprehensive in regard to submission, but I know that this is a hot topic for many women. That’s not surprising. It has been since the Garden of Eden! Just for clarification, submission is putting ourselves under our God-given authorities. It is a willingness to do what we are told. Submission is attitude and obedience is action.

Reverence and submission are biblical words. This respect and honor I am commanded by God to give are not to be emotional responses based on my estimation of my husband’s value and position in my life; they are volitional responses based on God’s estimation of his value and position in my life. My honor for, and submission to, my husband is never to be based on my estimation of his worth, but on my esteem for God’s Word. (This also applies to other relationships where we are commanded to show honor to authorities.)

I honor and respect for Christ’s sake, not my husband’s. If I choose to dishonor those God has placed over me, I have really chosen to disobey and dishonor God. My choice speaks, not of their character or spirituality, but of mine.

Honor is far more than how I feel about a person at any given time; rather, it is to be the way I behave toward that person at every given opportunity. It is how I express my esteem for another – by my words, my tone, my attitude, and my actions.

We may not always be able to obey our husbands and still be right with God (if they tell us to sin), but we can still have a submissive spirit. Sadly, some of us are quite good at obeying outwardly, yet never truly being submissive. This attitude of disrespect and resistance makes our husbands ashamed.

  1. She relives his past failures. She is unforgiving.

This is a hard one, and one that I’m sure all of us have been guilty of at some point. As Christian wives, we must learn to forgive. That means we don’t bring up everything he has ever done to hurt our feelings, or every sin he has ever committed, every time we have an argument or an opportunity. When we refuse to forgive our husbands and are constantly reminding them (or telling others) of their past failures, we are failing in our responsibility as wives (Eph. 4:31-32).

Our role is not that of the Holy Spirit. It is not our job to convict our husband of his “sins”, nor to convince him in areas he needs to change. This does not mean we cannot voice concerns, but we must be careful not to be “a continual dropping in a very rainy day” (Pro. 27:15). If we want to be spiritual wives, we won’t demonstrate it by telling our husbands how spiritual we are and how unspiritual they are. In fact, the opposite is true. If they are unsaved or away from the Lord, we are told to win them “without the word” (I Pet. 3:1-2).

Please understand, this does not mean we justify or approve of sin if it is in our husband’s life, nor does it mean pretending that wrong hasn’t happened if it has. It does mean being willing to forgive and not continuously revisit those offenses once they are forgiven.

  1. She ridicules his person. She is unkind.

This wife is the one who rarely misses an opportunity to belittle her husband. Whether publicly or privately, she taunts him, teases him, makes fun of him, and puts him down. She makes sure to let him (and others) know how little she respects him, or how much of a failure she believes him to be. While she may be the life of the party and get a good laugh, her husband (who may be laughing outwardly) is dying inwardly. As my husband told me, “I thought we were a team. No matter what anyone else thinks of me, I want to know that you are on my side.” Our Lord Jesus told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mk. 3:25). We need to support, encourage, and praise our husbands, not belittle or ridicule them.

  1. She rejects his passion. She is unloving.

A wife who uses the physical, sexual part of marriage as a tool against her husband is certain to make him ashamed. While this issue can be difficult and complicated in a troubled marriage, the Bible specifically addresses this in I Corinthians 7. If we are making excuses to avoid physical intimacy with our husbands for our own selfish reasons, or if we are using sex (or withholding sex) as a tool to get what we want, or to punish our husbands in some way, we are disobeying God and doing great harm to our marriages. We are also opening wide the door for temptation and infidelity.

  1. She renounces her purity. She is unfaithful.

A wife who is unfaithful to her husband – physically, emotionally, or mentally – is a wife who brings shame, not only to her husband, but to her family and to the Lord. In a culture that flaunts and praises immorality, God still says that moral impurity and marital infidelity are both sinful and shameful.

As we conclude this post (I know it is a lengthy one), some of you may be saying to yourselves, “What about the husband’s responsibility? She doesn’t know what my husband is like. Why is this all on me?”

I fully understand that there are two people in a marriage, and that both have responsibilities before the Lord. As a wife, I can only be responsible for my part and the same is true for you. This series of posts seeks to look biblically at what our role is as wives and what God teaches us to do. I would encourage you, as you read and study, to ask the Lord to help you to see what your responsibility is in your marriage and seek to fulfill it.

We will examine the final two ways we can shame our husbands in the next post.

If you missed the first post, you can find it here.

Part 2 is here.

 

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Feb
28

A Cancer or a Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 2

PART 2 – A Vivid Illustration – A Cancer or A Crown

As we look into the Word of God, we see a powerful portrait given of the influence of a wife, for good or for evil.

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”

First, the word “crown” in this verse means a crown, but comes from a word which means “to encircle (for attack or protection); especially to crown (literally or figuratively): –compass, crown”. Obviously, it can mean a crown, like the crown a king wears, (and I think we all like to think about being the “crowning glory” of our husbands), but it also has the idea of something that surrounds and protects, like the type of crown a dentist places on a tooth that has been repaired.

This is especially interesting to think about when you look at the contrast of the rest of the verse, “…but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

The word “rottenness” means “decay (by caries): — rottenness (thing).” Bones can mean literal bones or can refer to strength or something strong. (Definitions from Strong’s Concordance.)

So, where a virtuous woman strengthens, protects, and brings honor to her husband, a wife who makes her husband ashamed is like the inside of his bones rotting away. This is serious!

So, let’s hear the bad news first since we cannot correct problems we have not recognized and identified.

The Cancer

God makes quite a strong statement when He tells us that a wife who makes her husband ashamed is like rottenness in his bones! What does that mean?

A Wife Who Is Failing Her Husband

The wife “that maketh ashamed” is not the type of wife most women aspire to be. In this verse, we see the contrast of a wife who is pleasing to her husband and praised by God versus a wife who is damaging her husband. This wife who makes her husband ashamed, whether intentionally or inadvertently, is failing to be the type of wife she should be.

A Wife Who Is Forcing Her Husband

The Bible says she “maketh ashamed”. She is causing her husband to do something he doesn’t want to do. No man wants to be ashamed of his wife, and no man wants to be shamed by his wife. For many wives, whether they are aware of it or not, “making ashamed” is their means of control.

Whether it is by trying to be the Holy Spirit in their husband’s life, or trying to “mother” him, or some other form of “guilting him”, many women try to shame their husbands into doing what they want, or what they deem to be “good behavior”. It is important that we understand that even if this tactic appears to be successful on a temporary basis, it is extremely damaging to the foundation of a marriage relationship.

A Wife Who Is Fracturing Her Husband

Bones are the structure and support of a body, and as such, any disease of a bone is serious. We will see specifics later about the results of “rotten bones”, but it is important that we understand that when we make our husbands ashamed, we are weakening, damaging, and hurting them. Instead of being someone who fortifies our husbands, we are breaking them down.

Much like a cancer or cavity weakens the strength and shortens the life of a bone or tooth, so a shameful wife weakens her husband and can shorten her marriage.

What are some of the ways that a wife can shame her husband? We will examine seven ways a woman can shame her husband in Parts 3 and 4.

If you missed Part 1 of this post, you can find that here.

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Feb
27

A Cancer or a Crown? The Powerful Influence of a Wife – Part 1

Part 1

Blind Spots

Have you ever been driving along, enjoying the beauty of the day, only to suddenly hear a horn blaring and realize you almost ran over the car next to you? They were in your blind spot, and you didn’t even see them! Just because you did not see them doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be terrible consequences if a collision occurred.

Blind spots happen to everyone, and the only way to avoid danger and disaster is to learn to be more careful to look before moving, adjust your mirrors, and correct any “blind spot” issues as quickly as possible.

I had a major “blind spot” early in my marriage. Thankfully, I became aware of it soon enough to make some corrections and avoid a major disaster. I began doing some intense Bible study and making changes in my heart and life in hopes of amending this problem and avoiding future ones.

We all struggle with blind spots, and I’m sure I have others in my life that the Lord has yet to bring to my attention. My hope in sharing this particular story and study is that it will help others who may be dealing with this same blind spot to recognize it and recover before having a painful disaster.

Early Years & Tears

When I first got married, I think I subconsciously felt that marriage would be pretty easy for me. I was blessed to be raised in a godly home. My parents had a solid, loving marriage. I’d been taught the principles of love and submission for as long as I can remember. I liked being “domestic”, and my mom had trained me well in cooking, housekeeping, and myriad other homemaking skills. I was marrying a wonderful man who loved the Lord and loved me. We wanted to serve the Lord together. I hate to admit it, but I thought, “I’ve got this!”

Fast forward a few short years, and we were doing fairly well. My husband was an assistant pastor. I was busy at home and in the church. We were beginning to deal with the issue of infertility, which is a strain on any marriage, but other than that, I thought we were doing fine. However, I was unaware that I had developed a very bad habit.

This may come as a surprise, but I’m not a very good communicator, and I was terrible when we first got married. I love to write, and talk, but actually expressing to my husband (or others) how I feel about things is really hard for me, especially if I’m upset. So, when I was angry or frustrated about something between us, instead of just telling him, I started finding “creative” ways to let him know I didn’t approve or thought he needed to change. Usually this came in the form of teasing or poking fun of him in front of others at church. If someone started a conversation about an area where I felt my husband needed some improvement or correction, I would share a funny story…about him, or us. To others who knew us, it may have seemed harmless. It wasn’t.

I’m thankful for a husband who loves me enough and cares enough about our relationship to confront me about it. One night after a particularly dramatic episode in front of a large group of church people, we went home and my husband told me how hurtful it was that I demeaned him, mocked him, and corrected him in front of other people instead of just talking to him about whatever my issues were. Of course, I was upset and defensive, but I quickly realized that I had truly hurt him and I was wrong. My husband is not the “sensitive” type, and I’m certainly not talking about simple teasing. He was kind enough to me to never let on in front of anyone else that what I was doing was wrong. When I finally became fully aware of what I had been doing to him, I felt terrible. I cried for two days, and begged him to forgive me, which he did from day one! I realized though that while forgiveness can be given instantly, trust takes time to rebuild, and wounds take time to heal.

That was a huge wake-up call for me. I had suddenly seen my blind spot. I realized that I needed a lot of work and a lot more wisdom if I wanted to be the wife my husband needed, and that God expected me to be. I needed to be more than just the wife who could cook, and keep house, and do the outward things that others could see. I needed to be the kind of wife with whom my husband could trust his heart. I began to pray that the Lord would truly help me to understand my husband, and that He would teach me to be the wife He wanted me to be. I began studying the book of Proverbs, specifically what Proverbs says about women. I’ve been studying it now for over 20 years, and I’m still finding things I need to learn and apply to my home and marriage.

One day, I came across this verse, and it reminded me of my earlier failure with my husband.

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” (Pro. 12:4).

I had read this verse many times before, but had only focused on the positive part. I had never really thought about the second half of the verse.

While the primary application of this verse is that if a woman is not virtuous, she shames her husband, I couldn’t get away from thinking about a wife who makes her husband ashamed and what a negative impact she has on his life. I began to meditate and study on this thought.

When you look at the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 and the positive influence she is on her husband’s life and then contrast her with this woman who “maketh ashamed”, it is truly eye-opening.

I think there are a lot of wives out there who are just like I was, completely unaware of how much they are hurting and shaming their husbands. I think there are many who never realize how much harm they are doing until their words or actions have deeply damaged their relationship.

I am certainly NOT a marriage expert, and I am thankful the Lord allowed me to see this early in my marriage. I am still learning and working on being a wife who is a delight to my husband, not a detriment.

So, exactly how do we make our husbands ashamed? And how can we be more like the virtuous woman instead? If we’ve already “blown it” in this area, can we change? Can the hurts we have inflicted be healed?

Join me for Part 2 of this series tomorrow.

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Feb
11

How Can I Sing? – New Sheet Music & Video

Several years ago, I heard a message preached on Psalm 137. It stirred my heart and got me to thinking of how difficult it can be to “sing the Lord’s song in a strange land”.

We know that the exile in Babylon was due to the sin of the nation of Judah, but not every individual who was taken to Babylon, or who was born there during the captivity, was directly responsible for their captivity. There were people like Daniel, Ezekiel, Mordecai, Esther, Nehemiah, and others who were godly people suffering because of the sin of others.

I can imagine that these who sought to remain true to the Lord even in the land of Babylon faced quite a bit of mocking and scorn, not only from the Babylonians, but from their own people who were not faithful to the Lord. It was from those thoughts and others from Scripture that this song came to be.

There is no doubt that sometimes our sorrow and suffering is the result of our own sin. There is also no doubt that sometimes sorrow and suffering is just the result of living in a sin-cursed world.

How can we sing the Lord’s song when we are in the midst of difficult, painful circumstances? Can we learn, as Paul and Silas did, to sing in the midst of our “captivity”? This song asks and answers those questions.

Although this song begins in a minor, and expresses a great deal of the sadness and sorrow we can experience, it is a song of hope and faith. I hope that it will encourage many to trust in the Lord, not just after a trial, but in the midst on one.

The sheet music is now available. It is arranged as a solo with piano accompaniment, and can be purchased as printed sheet music or as a digital PDF download. Just select “digital” from the drop-down menu to select the PDF download.
How Can I Sing? Sheet Music Cover Image

How Can I Sing is also the title song of my latest CD. You can purchase it here.

 

Lyrics:

My harp hangs here in the willow tree by the riverside.
And the memories bring weeping that I cannot hide. 
The enemy says mockingly, “Why don’t you sing a song?”
And in despair I think of how it has been so long.
How can I sing Jehovah’s song while I’m here in Babylon?

How can I sing when I’m in a place that I did not choose?
How can I sing with a broken heart and a mind confused?
My thoughts are filled with shattered dreams and hopes left unfulfilled.
How can this be what has come to me if I’m in His will?
How can I sing Jehovah’s song while this pain is what I feel?

How can I sing that the Lord I serve is a God who saves?
Of deliverance and freedom when I am a slave?
How can I sing of joy and peace while I cry bitter tears?
How can I sing of confidence when I’m filled with fears?
How can I sing Jehovah’s song when it seems He is not near?

By faith I’ll sing that my God gives peace in the midst of fears!
And I will sing that my Lord gives joy in the midst of tears.
And I will sing for my spirit’s free although I’m in captivity.
And I will sing, for I know His plans are best for me.
Yes, I will sing Jehovah’s song while I’m here in Babylon.

Copyright 2013 Niki Lott.

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Nov
22

New Products! – Sheet Music, CD, Books & More

I am excited to announce the arrival of several new products on the website!

My latest CD, How Can I Sing, is now available to order. Quantity discounts are available, and music makes a great Christmas gift! It is also available to download or stream on most digital platforms, including Amazon Music, Google Play, Apple Music/iTunes, You Tube Music, and Spotify.

The sheet music for all of the songs on How Can I Sing is available as well, with the exception of the title song. I am working on that one, and hope to have it online soon. Once it is completed, I will send the compilation to a printer, and it will be available in book form as well.

One of the songs from the CD that has not been published previously is now available on the website. It is called Let the Children Come. It is a song about the importance of seeing children come to Christ. I will share more of the background of that song in a post next week.

I am also very excited to have my new Bible study available and in stock on my website. It is entitled The Classroom of Contentment. It is a personal Bible study book, with optional Teacher Resources in the back of the book. There is a separate Student Book available for those who wish to use the study in a group or class. If you want to order both books to see if they would be a good fit for your class or Bible study, order this preview package at a substantial discount. Both books are also available on Amazon.

Finally, I recently added the choral version of an old favorite, He Gave Himself, to the online store. Arranged for solo with choir, this is a powerful song that is appropriate for Christmas or any time of the year.

If you order now through November 30, use coupon code: THANKS to receive a 15% discount.

By the way, did you know that you can purchase digital gift certificates on Christian Compositions? They can be purchased in any amount, and can be emailed directly to the recipient with a personalized message.

If you aren’t already doing so, please follow my page on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for regular updates, encouraging posts, and exciting giveaways and discounts!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Niki Lott

 

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