THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES YOU FROM ALL SIN AND GUILT (1 JOHN 1:7). JESUS IS THE DELIVERER!!
This lesson is not meant to encourage Jezebel and Ahab, but to help men and women work together for mutual good. It is God's plan for every one of his creatures to develop to full potential. Our aim here is to encourage communication, planning and development. After all, if the family is to show the world a picture of Christ and His Church, we all know we have a lot of work to do. On the whole, the picture Christians present to the world does not encourage them to get saved. When these duties come before God, we have begun to become Jezebelic. God is first; duties are second. Have you ever spent much time in study about being a Godly wife and mother? I spent the first ten years of my marriage and parenthood trying to put into practice all I knew about being a good wife and mother mostly learned from the world. Of course I had been trained in the principles of the Bible but I had received very little practical instruction on how to incorporate the teachings into my daily life. I had been called the super mom and wife, and I was out to prove it was so. I was struggling to do every thing better than you. One of my frequent thoughts was "anything you can do, I can do better" never realizing this came from trying to satisfy rejection. One observation I have made throughout the years is that women tend to allow themselves to be led into "spiritualizing" the Bible. While it is true it is a spiritual book, it is mainly a practical book for every day life. It seems that all spiritual truths parallel natural truths. An example: as a young Spirit- filled Christian, I witnessed some strange phenomena. One thing I saw greatly puzzled me. I saw women lock very young children outside and hold prayer meetings until late evening neither feeding the children, allowing them into the house to use the bathroom or supervising their fights. Some of these women began to engage in homosexuality. Of these children, one is dead of bizarre circumstances, some gave birth to illegitimate children and more than one has had problems with drugs. I felt at that time and still do now that this was a case of spiritual fantasy. God says we must first be faithful in mammon (which is not only money but time, earthly duties, thoughts, priority, home and personal relationships) before He will give us spiritual duties. SCRIPTURE Proverbs 31:10-31 was very helpful to me as I struggled to become a more practical Christian wife and mom. I will share some of the things I learned. 10. A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman, who is he who can find her? She is more precious than jewels, and her value is far above rubies or pearls. [Pro.12:4; 18:22; 19:14.] The verse seems to imply this type of woman is rare. This made me want to become one more than ever. I know this picture of a lovely wife is drawn from Eastern customs so I asked the Lord to help me implement its moral and spiritual meanings into my modern American life. First, I saw that I must change my attitude about myself. If I am to become this wife, I must begin to see myself becoming her. I knew I was capable, intelligent and virtuous [maybe a little less than perfect, maybe a little tarnished]. Now I see the Bible says I am very precious. I must not think of myself as worthless anymore. Am I thinking, behaving as one who is precious? There are many corrections to be made in my attitudes, priorities and behavior. Would one who is precious give way to tormenting fears and anger or be irrational, lazy, unrealistic, greedy etc.? Men, do you consider your wife more valuable than rubies? Wives, do you consider yourself valuable? 11. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her safety, so that he has no lack of honest gain or need of dishonest spoil. A husband should never have the distraction of worrying about his wife's conduct or faithfulness [ nor she his]. He can rely on her wise use of the money he earns; she will not be coveting material things beyond their means. She will remember to be grateful to God for the husband and the provisions the husband has obtained, so that there is no need for the husband to seek wealth in an evil or unlawful manner [Isa.3:16-26.] 12. She will comfort, encourage and do him only good as long as there is life within her. I will not nag but encourage and be enthusiastic about our progress. I will not bring my husband harm or embarrassment by behavior , words or actions. At that time I was given a copy of the Amplified Bible. It helped me to understand how I should think about and relate to my husband. Lest you begin to get upset, let me tell you that relating to your husband and children is meant to be an enriching experience. See I Peter 3:1-7. In verse 2, I found an overall picture of what it is all about: "When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband. That is, you are to feel for him all that reverence includes] - to respect, defer to, revere him; [revere means] to honor, esteem( appreciate, prize), and [in the human sense] adore him; [and adore means] to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love and enjoy [your husband]." Does this sound like slavery? I don't think so. And to think the ladies who were instructed to do this did not often have any choice in the selection of their husbands. How much more shall it be required of us, seeing we are given the freedom to chose our mate? Many unsaved husbands have many very good qualities and a saved wife should recognize and appreciate these qualities. By letting him know you recognize and appreciate him many a husband gets saved. Ingratitude to God and the people around you will be a deterrent to their salvation. 13. She seeks our the wool and flax and works with willing hands to develop it. Women are endowed with great ability to work and produce goods. If a husband does not believe this, I challenge him to encourage, honor and respect her, and he will see [ many men bite and devour their wives and then wonder why they cannot be what they should be]. When I began to try this, Gene began to complement and encourage me. His encouragement was like fresh coal to a roaring fire. I was more determined than ever to succeed and I was enjoying every bit of progress I made. I began to do more careful buying of cloth both for clothes and decorating. Women are endowed with great ability to work and produce goods. If a husband does not believe this, I challenge him to encourage, honor and respect her, and he will see [ many men bite and devour their wives and then wonder why they cannot be what they should be]. When I began to try this, Gene began to complement and encourage me. His encouragement was like fresh coal to a roaring fire. I was more determined than ever to succeed and I was enjoying every bit of progress I made. I began to do more careful buying of cloth both for clothes and decorating. 14. She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs, she brings her household's food from a far [country]. I saw a bumper sticker on a car which read "Born to Shop". Ladies, right here is your charge to shop very wisely. I was to give attention to the prudent (shrewd in the management of practical affairs) buying, preparing and storing of food. Canning and freezing foods during times of plentiful supply will save many dollars. The food you carefully put up will be more nutritious than that you buy. 15. She rises while yet it is night and gets spiritual food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. [Job 23:12.] According to Jamieson's Commentary, this verse means to diligently attend to expanding as well as gathering wealth. I believe that is true but I also believe it includes the whole of the family as well as material wealth. This was applied to me this way. Since I had always been prudent in money and product matters, I was lacking in prudently working with the people in the family and helping develop them. I needed to have a time during each 24 - hour day to read my Bible, pray and seek God's Wisdom, implement it in my life and teach His Wisdom to my children. Most of us do not have maidens to assign tasks to but it occurred to me I have children who need to learn to contribute to the family good and to learn to take care of their own needs. Since I had not yet gotten myself well disciplined, I made a chart of their duties for each day so that I would remember each day's duties. As we made progress, we began to see a more smoothly run household. Plus I watched the children grow in self-discipline, have better attitudes and respect each other more. I watched a little dyslexic, slightly brain - damaged, daughter begin to succeed. She was applying the principals of consistent discipline and hard work; and she was winning. Her accomplishments include graduating from L.S.U. with a high average in pre - med. All of which we had been told she would never be able to do. 16. She considers a new field before she buys or accepts it - expanding prudently [and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming others]. With her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. [ S. of Sol. 8:12.] I was not to run headlong into things but I was to carefully consider each new activity and consult with my husband. Ask myself if I will be able to include this new activity in my life and not neglect my present God given duties of cleaning, child rearing, food preparation etc. If I could not work it in with out neglect, then I should pass it up for now. I should be allowed to keep some proceeds from my industry and there by have money to purchase property etc. By teaching my children to participate in family work, I found I had time to become interested in other things. When Marie was 15 years old, I had a craft business [this was something I had always wanted to do]. When I saw it was time to close it, I did; it had served its purpose in our life. Your vineyard may be your children or husband; it may not be a grape vineyard. 17. She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God given task] her arms are strong and firm. I learned better how to take care of myself mentally, physically and spiritually. I was prone to work to long and not rest enough so I learned to pace myself throughout the day. While I had not been much of a Bible reader, I began to do it anyway. Little did I know that within two years I was going to need everything I had absorbed from these times of study when our son would meet death in his play. 18. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out; but burns on continually through the night of [trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt and distrust. I was to see just how much pain and sorrow death would bring into each of our lives but the knowledge of God and his words sustained. I was to know times when I would desire to cease to feel anything but in all these things God remained sure. I was to see thirteen years come and go before I would see our daughter freed from the death of her brother. We would have despaired completely if we had not already become used to believing God. When you start on this walk, you should not expect every thing to get perfect overnight. It may take years but it will be worth the walk. 19. She lays her hand to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. Whatever work needs to be done, I will not disdain it nor put it off. All honest work is honorable. Sometimes one of your children will need your help in some area. Take the time to seek God for how to help; He will tell you how. After years of working with Marie, I had doctors at the University of Houston ask what had been done to help her. 20. She opens her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, soul, mind or spirit]. There is always excess to share with those in need. By training yourself in Godly wisdom, there is also spiritual and material abundance to share. 21. She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. [Josh. 2.18,19; Heb. 9:19-22.] I should be looking ahead to winter and making preparations before the winter cold arrives. The gathering together of my families clothing is my responsibility. It should be sufficient for the needed warmth. 22. She makes for herself coverlets of scarlet, cushions and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure white and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple are made]. [Isa. 61:10; I Tim. 2:9; Rev 3:5; 19:8,14.] I am to seek bargains in furnishings for my home; each purchase should of the best quality I can afford. It will last longer; by this I will save money in the long run. I probably will not have to buy that thing again. I should dress myself and my family well, not to impress man with my goods, but to show to all men that a Godly life is good and that God will meet all of you needs just as he has promised. I should apply myself to my business which is the wife's business. The comfort of the home is the wife's responsibility. Rugs of tapestry speaks to me of warmth and beauty. 23. Her husband is known in the cities gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. [Pro. 12:4.] God showed me that my inaptitude had bothered my husband at work. When he should have been concentrating on work, he was sometimes worried about me. This kept back his progress to the degree that he was concerned. If I would take up my responsibility at home, play on his team and pull my share of the load, he would be freer to apply himself to his job while there and to the family while with us. 24. She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one for service]. I will apply my hand to work for my family and will look out for something that I can put in the market place that will fill a need there and bring in good return. In the days this verse was written these girdles were expensive and highly valued. They would bring a good return on the time and effort put into them. 25. Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure. She rejoices over the future -- the latter day or time to come [knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! By applying myself correctly, I will have no need to feel worthless any longer. I now see I have worth and ability, and others also see this. I shall have no fear for old age because I have helped to prepare for it. 26. She opens her mouth with skillful and Godly Wisdom, and in her tongue is the Law of Kindness -- giving counsel and instruction. After I have learned to apply this wisdom to my life,I will be ready to give wise counsel and instruction but not before (Titus 2:3-5). 27. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness [gossip, discontent and self-pity] she will not eat. [I Tim. 5:14; Titus 2:5.] I was shown I should not let my children bring things into our home which were evil or hurtful to us. I was to take the time to find out what was wrong with it and teach this to the children. If they did not obey me, the matter was then turned over to Daddy. He would then instruct the child. If this did not bring the correct behavior, punishment was sure. If I engage in gossip, discontent or self-pity, I teach my children these things and create a place of trouble in which to live. I should be observant of any problem in the children, begin to seek God for the solution and minister the answer to the children. 28. Her children rise up and call her blessed [happy, fortunate and to be envied]; and her husband boasts of and praises her, saying, Your children may not tell you this until they are old enough to begin to see that correct and obedient living saves them a lot grief. Be patient - it will come. Our daughter didn't tell us until this year. 29. Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness] but you excel them all. Wives, these are the words of her husband. These would not have been my husband's words without my change. God also showed me I was to begin the correction in my life whether or not my husband co-operated or appreciated it. I was amazed to see the change in my husband's attitude toward me as I changed. I was not to change to get my husband's approval but in obedience to God. 30. Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! As we all are witnesses, beauty fades away. We may do every thing in this list but if we do not have that beauty of heart which comes from having learned to trust and obey God, we will not accomplish our goal. For what is in the heart comes up on the lips. If with a true heart we serve our Lord and our families, then we will have no occasion for shame when we see our Lord Jesus. 31. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates of the city! [Phil. 4:8 - Think on what is true , pure, lovely or excellent - fix your mind on it.] This is one of the New Testament commandments. I believe this verse means she should receive some of the money of her labors. But it means more than that; it means she should be allowed to enjoy and receive the benefits of her life long labors. I have witnessed much ill treatment of women because of the hardness of the men's hearts. If there ever was any scripture to prove the abilities and station of women, this is it. No inferior creature will be able to accomplish this. Woman is parallel to man. If she either does not do her duty or is not allowed to do, it the whole family suffers especially the children. HUSBANDS AND FATHERS Men, you are the main source of women's problems. Check yourself out as I explain: The father is head and priest of the family. A passive father who does not lead the family in Biblical teaching and behavior , one with bad temper, unkindness and shirking duty is failing both wife and children. What about child abuse such as beatings, rape, not providing loving support with your discipline, mental cruelty, etc.? Have you taught your family in the Law of God? Do you remember you're the leader? Do you see to it that each person knows you know they are precious in your eyes? If you fall down on your job of respecting and protecting their mother, children will feel the same thing about themselves that you do and say about their mom. Girls assume all men are like you. If you commit adultery, your daughter will feel all men are dishonest in this area. She will have a hard time trusting her husband. Even if a young girl should come from a bad home and by a very fortunate event marry a good man who does fill his role, she will still have an almost impossible task to be a good co-operative wife being as she is trained to fail, blame herself, have no self worth and no idea what should be done. Next it's husbands who cause problems. In all my fifty years, I've seen few men even vaguely fulfill their role as husband or father. By the time a child starts to school, he or she has already accepted the standard set by the father. As a teacher, I have found it is a very hard, if not impossible, task to change a child's opinion of themselves. Men, the whole family needs you to be a man working at doing the job of husband and father God's way. I believe it is "selfishness" according to II Tim. 3:1-5 that keeps men and women from prospering in all areas as God would have us to. Wives, the "submit" in the Bible means to play on his team. If you have or want to have a good husband, you'll have to begin to play on his team. When you married him, you said you would; now is the earliest time you can start. Moms, we're next in breaking down or building up our girls. By our attitude toward their fathers and ourselves, we teach or perpetuate our values. If you've accepted bad behavior or treatment and have taught it to your daughters, today is the best day to start a change. Our daughters accept our values and attitudes as the Gospel. They do it so early in life that they are seldom questioned. Like mother, like daughter is truer than you think. When you want anything in your life to get lined up with God, all wrong in that area must be truly repented of with a Godly hatred and shame. The repentance needs to be so strong and clear in your mind that it will always remind you of the incident.
As fathers and mothers, we repent of all things we have failed to do that were our responsibilities: Lover's of Self, Utterly Self-centered Inordinate Greedy Desire for Wealth, Proud, Arrogant, Contemptuous Boasters Abusive, Blasphemous Scoffers, Disobedient to Parents Ungrateful, Unholy Profane, Without Natural Affection Callous / Inhuman, Relentless False Accusers, Trouble Makers Intemperate, Loose in Morals and Conduct Uncontrollable, Fierce Haters of Good, Treacherous / Betrayers Rash, Inflated with Self-conceit Lovers of Sensual Pleasures, Lovers of Vain Amusements Having a Form of Godlessness, Denying the Power of God Strangers to God, Weak Natured / Spiritually Dwarfed Easily Swayed / Silly, Evil Desires Seductive Impulses, Inquiring Never Acquiring Depraved Minds, Distorted Minds Counterfeit, Rash Folly Wicked Men, Imposters Deceivers, Leading Astray Lazy, Unorganized Spiritual fantasy, Wrong Priorities We forgive anyone who has done any of the above things to us. We also forgive anyone who has sexually, physically, mentally or spiritually abused us. We now break the curses of: Witchcraft, Drugs Rock Music, Ungodly Sex Satan Worship, Bastard Incest, Sexual Abuse Rape, Divorce Adultery, Harlotry Prostitution, Homosexual Pride, Willing Deceivers Disobedient to God, Dishonoring Parents Stubbornness, Bestiality Striking Parents, Cursing Parents Jezebel, Ahab Turning Someone from God, Not Properly Disciplining Children Sexual Sins, Offending Children Who Believe
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