Of Anger and Temptation

While waiting for Daniel’s game to start last night, I was reviewing several of my scripture memory verses. The Spirit was reminding me of the value of controlling my temper and to remember that He will always give me a way of escape when I’m tempted to sin.

Last night, as we were walking to the parking lot after a rough game, I was sharing with Bill and Daniel these exact verses, encouraging them … and I turned around to see the young umpire walking right behind us, listening. He shared with us that it was his first game working behind home plate. We had a great opportunity to visit with him and encourage him.

Friends, we never know who is listening … but we do know who always is. Ultimately, God is my judge and I want to live according to His rules and for His pleasure, knowing that He is always working for my good.

The beauty of womanhood

Today was “International Women’s Day.” I disagree with many of the ultra-feminist goals of this day, but I certainly am thankful for my life as a woman and wish for other women around the world to enjoy such joy.

I would not be the woman I am today were it not for numerous graces for which I give thanks.

  • I am thankful for the wonderful education I received from childhood into adulthood.
  • I am thankful for the freedom I enjoy in America to receive such an education.
  • I am thankful for a quick mind, a gift from God, that allows me to remember and understand even a portion of all this information I have received.
  • I am thankful for a strong and able body, another gift from God, that has allowed me many pain-free years.
  • I am thankful for the gifts of sight, speech, and hearing, treasures that not everyone enjoys here on earth.
  • I am thankful for hard working parents who loved me and modeled life well for me.
  • I am thankful for a husband who works diligently to provide for us, so I can tend to the needs of our household.
  • I am thankful for the gift of motherhood. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today without each of my children – those with me on earth and those who have preceded me to heaven.
  • I am thankful for all my sisters whether by marriage, by blood, or by faith, who have poured into me and encouraged me.

Proverbs 31 is a song of encouragement from a mother to her son on the value of a wife. Each of us should aspire to such diligent service to our husband, children and community, but ultimately to God, the giver of every good gift.

Many thanks to God, and to all the men and women, who have shaped me to be who I am today. May we have hearts full of thanksgiving, as we speak and serve with the grace God has given to us.

Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.

She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Is your Life Self-centered, Child-centered, Husband-centered, or God-centered???

This past week, I have been studying Matthew 23 along with the other ladies in my Community Bible Study group. In this passage, Jesus pronounces upon the religious leaders of His day (the scribes and Pharisees) a series of seven woes. Six times Jesus calls these self-righteous men, “hypocrites.” Rather than leading the Israelites to pursue God with pure hearts, these religious leaders had hearts full of greed and self-indulgence, performing law-keeping deeds in order to be seen by others. Ultimately, their lives were SELF-centered, despite any external appearance of GOD-centeredness.

This Tuesday, I was listening to my favorite podcast, “Family Life Today.” In this episode, Dennis Rainey was sharing some words of wisdom with the new “Family Life Today” hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson. Mr. Rainey was explaining how easily most moms can be drawn into a CHILD-centered life, where their “family solar system revolve[s] around the kids.” Such truth in just 7 words.

My mind immediately began drawing a picture of a solar system with my children taking the place of the sun, and my husband and me revolving around them like Earth and Mars.

Mr. Rainey and his wife, Barbara, then shared about the importance of keeping the marriage relationship strong, so that the marriage is prepared to outlast the children. If our world is revolving around our kids, what’s going to happen when they grow up and move out?!

I’m afraid that in an effort to not be child-centered, some marriages, then become husband-centered, where the whole family revolves around making dad happy. Rather than the wife pleasing her husband as an outflow of her allegiance to God, pleasing her husband becomes the very center and focus of her life. This, too, is a messed-up solar system.

In my mind I had a new vision of a solar system. This solar system had my husband and I spinning together, arm-in-arm, while God remained the ever-present enormous shining sun whose gravity held us both. In this solar system, both of our lives revolved around Him, not our kids, and not each other.

Like the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” I began asking myself, “Kim, what is the chief end of your life? What does your life revolve around? What is that gravitational force that holds your life in order? Who is in the center of your life’s solar system?”

Is my primary goal to “glorify God, and to enjoy him forever”?

Yes. Yes, it is.

TWIG

Why don’t we tell others about our good news?

1. We don’t really believe it.

If you thought the good news may not be true, you wouldn’t tell others, right? You’d wait until you’d taken two, or maybe even three, pregnancy tests before you went telling all your friends that you’re pregnant or posting about it on Facebook. You may even wait until you’re 12 or 20 weeks along before you tell anybody, so you don’t have to explain if you don’t deliver a healthy baby within the year. We like to be really sure before we tell others our good news.

2. We don’t really think the news is all that great.

Who cares that your daughter got a scholarship – it’s only a local community college. So what that your kid made the varsity team – it’s just high school football. If you think your good news isn’t really all that amazing, you may not be compelled to tell some else, except maybe your husband, your mom and your very best friend.

3. Our friends and family won’t be happy or supportive.

Maybe you’re super excited about a new job your husband got on the other side of the world, but your family may not be so happy, right? If the hearer isn’t going to be overjoyed about our good news, then we may not want to tell them about it.

4. We may be ashamed to tell other people, either because it feels like bragging, or because they may disagree with you.

If your son scored a perfect score on the ACT, you may be embarrassed to tell anyone for fear they’ll call you boastful. Or if your 18-year-old is getting married straight out high school, you may be embarrassed to tell everybody, because you’re worried about people’s negative comments.

5. We may not feel like we have the right words to express our good news.

In a generation of Pinterest, YouTube, Amazon, Facebook and Google, we can feel inadequate in how we communicate our good news. Our baby announcement or gender reveal may not be as well done as our friend’s, so we just don’t do it at all!

Just like these stumbling blocks to sharing our every life good news, these same five things can stand in the way of you sharing the good news about our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Try asking yourself these questions:

1. Do I really believe in the good news of Jesus, the Savior?

2. Do I recognize the incredible, unmerited blessing of this gift?

3. Am I letting someone else’s lack of excitement stand in the way of sharing?

4. Am I letting fear of someone else’s reaction prevent me from sharing this hope with my community and loved ones?

5. Am I prepared to share this good news any time, any where, with humility rather than waiting until I have all the right words prepared?