Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ladies Study...Then and Now

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

Titus 2: 3-5

Yesterday Mom and I  drove an hour  to attend a ladies study by my friend Judy. There were working ladies, widowed ladies, married ladies that attended. Yet the message Judy shared with us was the same message she taught many young wives and mothers thirty years ago.

The lessons are life changing, no matter whether one is married, divorced, widowed, working or staying at home. For though it is mainly about our relationship with our husband, it can be applied to anyone we meet in daily life.

Back then, Judy found herself in an impossible situation as a young mother in her own marriage relationship. In the midst of her trial, one day she heard the Lord ask her if she was so sinless she could throw stones at her husband. Her mouth (of accusation) was suddenly shut and their relationship became transformed. During this time, she asked God to show her everything the Bible had to say about  the role of the woman in marriage. She learned the secret that saved her marriage: submitting to her husband as unto the Lord, no matter where her husband was with God.

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. I Peter 3:1-2

The fruit of this study has been written in a simple booklet (and now an ebook too.) At that time, I was a young wife and mother and when I was going through a particularly hard time (insomnia before the birth of my last child) I went up to Judy in church and asked her counsel. A couple of months later, after pleading with my husband, I ended up hauling my three young children and driving across town to hear words that saved my marriage. For though I was married, I thought my ways were the best ways and the result was my husband and I often disagreed.  The resultant friendship and godly advice I received from Judy helped me so much, I hope now in some small way to pass on to others who may struggle, especially now that I am getting to be "an older woman" myself!

Yes, the message is about submission. But the thing is,the only way we can do that is to look, really look,at the cross of Jesus Christ. On that cross, He submitted to His Father's will and took the weight of all mankind's sins. But not just mankind, but each of us personally. In believing this, I find courage to forgive myself when I fail and start each day with a clean slate. I don't have to carry around the baggage of yesterday's mistakes. If I forgive myself and get ahold of the fact that He loves me, I can forgive others also.

 God does not ask us to do anything that would ever be bad for us. So if submission seems like an impossible thing, first we must learn that it is for our good, and because God loves us so much He wants us to be in a place of protection.

It all starts with a  relationship with Christ through trusting that He paid for our sins on the cross. Through that, we become brand new creatures with a new nature. That's just the beginning, though. When we enter into that new relationship, we receive the Holy Spirit and the ability to manifest the love of God to others who hurt us.

I found myself rejoicing yesterday, that God has seen fit to keep me close to Him all these years now, even if I have made mistakes along the way. I was glad my Mom could hear God's message of unconditional love as well, as she struggles through the grief of widowhood. Most of all, I rejoice God's provision for the woman is still the same, no matter how much the world has changed.

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