My Take on Submission

It’s all about attitude. And I had to learn it over a period of years. I have been listening to Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I hear him talking about how a woman needs love and a man needs respect. I should have listened to this many years ago. I read other books, but I don’t remember anyone putting it so succinctly that love doesn’t mean as much to a man as respect does. That seems bizarre to me, but I’m convinced that it’s true. Why do so many men write those sappy love songs then?!!

I hate to admit it, but when my husband and I first got together, I had a tad bit of a superior attitude. I never would have admitted it then, but I had this pride problem that was huge. But I was blind to it. I thought I could judge his actions and words and decide if he was right or seeing things right or whatever. Sometimes when he told me about something that happened at work, I would wonder if he was just seeing things wrong. I wondered if he caused his own problems. I know now that I needed to be on his side no matter what. But back then, I judged him. I would tell him what he should have done. Oh, I cringe when I think about how I used to think and act toward him. I didn’t know him as well as I do now, but if I had followed the biblical order of how wives are to treat their husbands, I would have honored and respected him instead of reserving judgment or out and out criticizing him. I don’t think I came right out and criticized him openly, but I would ask him questions about the matter, and he could tell that I was questioning his handling of the matter. No wonder he didn’t feel respected by me. Like Dr. Eggerichs says in his book, I should have given him unconditional respect.

Another thing I didn’t understand was how important it was to him to be able to provide well for his family. I wanted to get married as soon as possible, and he wanted to become more financially secure first. I was already teaching. I thought that I could earn enough for us at first and then he could take over the breadwinner role later. I had no idea how hard that was on his self-image. I pushed until we did get married before he was established in a career, but I think his self-respect took a beating. It worked out in the end, but he had some wounds from my attitudes that pushed him to do things that lowered his self-respect. If I had respected him, I wouldn’t have pushed for my own agenda against his better judgment.

The Bible tells us the correct way to think of our husbands. In Eph. 5:33, Paul says, “The wife must respect her husband.” I thought I knew that. I just didn’t realize that I wasn’t doing it. I didn’t know how unconditional my respect had to be.

In the Love and Respect teaching, Dr. Eggerichs tells about a survey of men that asked two questions: If you were forced to choose, would you rather be alone in the world and unloved, or would you rather feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone? More than 70% of the men surveyed said they would rather be alone and unloved than to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone.

I saw my husband live this out. It was SO hard on him. While we were living by faith, he was okay because he knew that God told him not to get a job. So when people asked what he was doing, he could tell them that God had called him to pray and to do whatever ministry the Lord brought to him. Not many people asked him to his face, but a lot of people talked behind his back. And he knew it. But he was able to handle it, because he knew he was obeying God. When the time of living by faith was coming to an end, he knew he was supposed to get a job again after four years without a job. So he started trying to find a job, and it seemed like he couldn’t get a job anywhere. Nobody would hire him. Even jobs that were below his skill level were closed to him. Our fountain of provision had stopped, but he couldn’t do anything to make any money for us. He felt so useless, helpless, and purposeless. It almost killed him! He was a bear to live with. He was so angry all the time. The kids were afraid of him. He was not himself. He finally got a job at Walmart, of all places. It didn’t pay enough to even cover our rent. But it was something for him to do, and he started coming back to his senses. He had a purpose in witnessing to people he worked with and customers. He had people coming to him asking him questions. He was getting a bit of respect from someone. It was enough to help him through the rest of our transition back into the marketplace.

I believe that I was respectful to him during that time, but that wasn’t enough. He felt disrespected by everybody else. But I wonder if he would have made it through it at all, if I had disrespected him, too. I stood by him and loved him the best I could. I never treated him like he wasn’t trying hard enough. I never questioned anything he did or said. At times, I felt like I had to do spiritual warfare for him. I had to take some leadership of finding a house for us and some other things because he was too distraught to do anything like that at the time. But I didn’t get angry at him for leaving the headship to me. I knew he just wasn’t capable right then. I gave him some time and space. If he had made a decision during that time, I would have gone along with it. He was too agitated to even make a decision. But I had learned through our years of living by faith to respect him unconditionally. So when the time came that he was acting in a way that didn’t deserve respect I was able to keep treating him with respect. I believe that it helped him to retain his sanity and kept our marriage from falling apart.

So I believe that our submission to our husbands is wrapped up in our unconditional respect for him. I have a husband who loves the Lord. If my husband wasn’t seeking God with all his heart, I know it would be very hard to show him unconditional respect. But it seems as if that is what God would have us do. So I would have to submit to his decisions if I wanted to obey God. I trust God to take care of me no matter what happens in life. I have heard testimonies of husbands who really have been won by their wives’ loving, submissive, respectful attitudes. If we don’t show respect to him, then we are not giving God anything to work with.

I have known women who were abused emotionally by their husbands. I would advise them to keep a submissive attitude, except in cases of physical abuse. Then I would tell them to leave and go to a place of safety. But in the case of emotional abuse, if the husband ever tried to leave, I would tell the wife to let him go and not try to get him back. It really all comes down to trusting God. Leaving it all to Him means not trying to make things happen our way. If we truly allow God to work in our husband’s heart, God will make all things work out for our good. If we truly trust God, we will let God have his way in everything that concerns us, including our husband’s heart.

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Highways

Out on the highways, there’s so many passing by

Step out in boldness and watch the family multiply

Pray up some miracles, let’s open up the sky

And His joy will be manifest in you

And the lost will be found by the things you do

– Christy Riley @ www.blessedchaos.wordpress.com

Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations. Isaiah 62:10

A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

“ Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God. Isa. 40:3

It’s time to do some highway construction! If we build it they will come.

Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:23

Nature Study aka Fishing with the Grandparents

Blue heron we saw at the fishing pond

We found all kinds of cool nature things while we went fishing on Father’s Day with my mom and dad. Here’s some of the wildlife we saw…

Best Dad and Grandpa – Hands Down!

Gary wearing his shirt we made. He is a very affectionate Dad!
Grandma and Grandpa really wanted to go fishing and have a picnic. So we did! It was so hot that we had to take our food back home to eat it. A few of us started to feel a little sick. It might have been because of the heat. Dad got really sick after we got back home. He didn’t even get to eat our picnic food.
Grandpa took care of the fishing poles and baiting the hooks for the little ones – and the squeamish ones!
His grandchildren are crazy about him. Grandpa even caught a fish himself! He only paid $20 for that privilege.

Further down the page…
Grandpa has his shirt on too.  He’s kind of buried in this shot on the couch!  He wasn’t feeling too good when we took this picture.  But he’s a trooper!

Abortions Cease at Facility in North Carolina

The following is from an email update I got from David Bereit of 40 Days for Life:

Ever since 40 Days for Life grew into a national —
and then international — movement, beginning back in
2007, we have been blessed to see:

* More than 2,800 lives saved from abortion …

* 38 abortion workers experience conversions and
leave the abortion industry …

* And FIVE abortion centers have gone out of
business following 40 Days for Life campaigns
outside their doors.

Well, we just got breaking news from Raleigh, North
Carolina, that the National Women’s Health abortion
center — outside of which 40 Days for Life campaigns
have been conducted — will no longer do abortions
after this coming Saturday!

To see a picture of my visit to that 40 Days for Life
location — back when we had NO IDEA that abortions
would be ending there — go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=952

Today’s Raleigh News & Observer confirms the story,
and reports:

“One of four Triangle abortion clinics will no
longer do procedures after Saturday, but it’s
unclear whether it will close or simply stop
offering abortions.”

Even as we praise God for this victory, pray that
this center, which has done so much harm, completely
closes and that the workers experience conversions!

North Carolina was one of the first states to ever
conduct a 40 Days for Life campaign, and today’s News
& Observer story shared additional encouraging news:

“Abortions in North Carolina have been declining, as
they have across the nation. In 2008, the latest
year for available data, about 27,000 North
Carolina women had abortions, according to the N.C.
Center for State Health Statistics. That was down
4.6 percent from the previous year.”

Praise the Lord! Bless everyone who has taken part in this extraordinary movement!

Father’s Day Creativity

I helped Garrett make this Toolbox for his Daddy for Father’s Day.  I felt so creative!

I had to put together that cute tape measure and really all of the tools.  Garrett might have been able to do some of it, but I just went ahead and did it myself.  I knew he wouldn’t mind!  I was running out of time, too.  He did a good job of telling me what he wanted to write on each tool.

I made a hammer with a nail in wood, a tape measure, a plane with real sandpaper, a saw in a piece of wood, a nut and bolt.

I got this from Cross-Eyed Curriculum at www.Currclick.com.  It’s called Dad’s Toolbox.  Fitting name, huh?


We also made a T-shirt with the kids’ handprints on it. And we made an apron with their handprints on it. He cooks a lot and wears an apron to protect his clothes. We even made a T-shirt for my dad with their handprints. He was here to get it in person! Then I made a lapbook. It’s the very first lapbook that I designed all by myself. I used the clipart from Appleworks for most of the booklets, but I had a brainstorm in the middle of the night that would be more appealing to the big boys. I found some pictures from Halo 3 and made booklets out of them. They did react with way more excitement than they had been showing about the whole lapbook idea. I finally got each one of the kids to write something nice to their daddy in a booklet and then glued them into the lapbook.

I worked hard to honor my own dad and Gary this Father’s Day! I made a neat card for my dad and had Fiona make it for Gary. I even had two of her little friends make this same card for their dads. They were really cute. Unfortunately, my dad was sick on Father’s Day. He couldn’t get too excited about the gifts we gave him, but we knew that he was too sick to react any differently. I got this card as a freebie from The Old Schoolhouse online conference. It was designed by Hold That Thought. I thought it was lovely.


Y – M – C – A, It’s Fun to Swim at the Y – M – C – A

This post was sent out prematurely by my baby. I should not leave my blog dashboard open when I leave the computer. Let that be a lesson!

Mom and Dad came to visit from Ohio over the weekend.

    We went to the YMCA to swim in the pool. We took all of the kids except one. They had a lot of fun.


There were not many other people there, so we practically had the pool to ourselves.

The kids all played together, and the little ones worked on learning how to swim.

Having Mom and Dad here meant we had another car to use to get all the kids there. And we had enough adults to take care of all the little ones in the pool. It’s hard to take them anywhere without a van or a second car. And it’s hard to do anything with them at the YMCA, because they won’t let the older brothers and sisters help supervise the younger ones. We have a YMCA membership, and the four oldest kids and Gary use it to good advantage. The rest of us, though, hardly ever get to go there. It’s not all that family friendly. They won’t allow us to do things with our kids that we consider reasonable, like having the older kids take care of their younger brothers and sisters. I’ve never felt comfortable about leaving them in the child care, and the hours that the day care is open have never been convenient for us anyway. But they won’t let us just use the child care room with one of us supervising the younger ones. We had problems with the people who ran the YMCA in Kansas City, so we haven’t even tried to take the younger ones to the one in Belleville.

Emma didn’t stop smiling the whole time. It was her first time to swim. She squealed and yelled so loud, I kept trying to shush her. She was just so excited!

    Garrett showed us that he has no fear of water.

    We always have a lot of fun when Mom and Dad come to visit.

More Bad News About CPS

I just found out about this documentary by Bill Bowen called Innocence Destroyed that exposes the hundreds of children who have died while in the care of Children’s Protective Services. They seem to pick the worst possible people to place children with. And they take children away from parents for offenses that are trumped up and false.

A couple months ago, I wrote about an alleged murder/suicide in Atlanta of a former Georgia senator, Nancy Schaefer here. She was leading an investigation into abuses by the CPS in Atlanta and ended up dead. Many people do not believe it was a murder/suicide involving her own husband. More likely, it was a paid hit.

Go to this link to find the short version of the documentary Innocence Destroyed on You Tube.
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-14537-Albany-CPS-and-Family-Court-Examiner~y2009m9d28-Bill-Bowens-documentary-Innocence-Destroyed-about-kids-murdered-while-in-custody-of-CPS-is-powerful

If you ever see something that makes you think there might be abuse or neglect going on, think long and hard about increasing the chances of abuse by 600% by putting a child into the CPS system. Be very careful about doing such a thing. There are safer ways to help a child. If you really care, get involved and help them yourself.

Righteous Man Walking

Blessed is the Man

My husband is blessed. And I know why. He has opened many doors that have brought blessings into his life.

“The righteous man walks in his integrity, blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) are his children after him” (Proverbs 20:7 (AMP)).

At his job, he does the very best work he can. He cares about his work. He cares about the people he works with. He cares about the people who will be using the manual he produces. And he cares about the company he works for. He gives them his best effort. All of them.

I don’t know how many people he has influenced at work, but I know it’s a large number. His light shines wherever he goes. He loves people, and it shows. He loves Jesus, and people can tell that there is something different about him. When they ask, he’s not shy about letting them know what makes him shine. He has brought people to salvation and influenced others to draw closer to Jesus. He has given some people the inspiration to let their lights shine brighter.

At home, he puts his own desires aside and takes care of our needs. After putting in a full day’s work, he often takes me to the grocery store to get what we need to feed our clan. He goes with me because he knows I hate to go alone. He knows that I enjoy that time with him.

He takes the older kids to the gym every other night. They want to stay regular and maximize their body-building efforts, so he goes, even when he’s tired. He works out with them. He wants to stay strong and in good shape for all of us. He has passed on his knowledge of proper weight training and body-building techniques to them.

He loves his kids, and they know it. Each one of them feels loved by their daddy. He has a special relationship with each of them. He makes an effort to spend time with them, and he looks for ways to get into their world. He is there for them when they need him.

He cares about their friends. Sometimes a new friend will be shocked by his friendliness and act a little frightened. When they get over the shock of a grown man coming into their world and talking to them about video games or what’s written on their shirt, they end up telling our kids, “I wish my dad was like yours!”

When I tell him about some concern I have, he stops and listens. If I have a problem, he helps me solve it. If I’m concerned about someone else’s problem, he shares my concern. He asks for details and gives me advice.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate. Ps. 127:4,5

Here is a big source of his blessing. Neither of us saw this coming, but we definitely have our quiver full. We let the Lord have His way with planning our family. We have trusted Him with everything. He has trusted us with so much.

We are already reaping blessings, as our children are contending with our enemies in the gate. They are our strongest prayer support.

They saw us walk through the hardest things we had ever faced in our lives. They were our only support during that time. And they did it. They helped us through it. They saw their dad at his lowest. When he felt worthless and useless, they respected and honored him. Even though he felt like giving up, he didn’t. And his children and I knew that he kept going out of love for us. His integrity carried him through, and it carried us through.

We are all blessed because of the blessing on him.

Dying to Save Our Marriage

When we first got married, I was selfish. So was he. But neither one of us knew it. We were both Christians. We were both following Christ. We loved each other. We thought we were Christ-like. We were clueless.

I had some issues. So did he. I wanted all of his attention. He wanted to watch TV or play video games all of the time. I hated games. He didn’t care for chitchat. I wanted to tell him all about my day. He was bored by all of my rambling and wanted me to get to the point. The problem was there was no point. I just wanted to talk. He didn’t see the point. It was a vicious cycle.

Throughout our years of marriage, we had several epiphanies. One happened for me when we had been married for 3 1/2 years. I was listening to a song from Robin Hood (the one with Kevin Costner), because we were going to sing it together in a wedding. The song was called Everything I Do (I Do it for You). I was sad and lonely in our marriage because of the reasons stated above. Oh, yes, he was also a workaholic. I was lonely because I hardly ever saw him. He worked late every night that he didn’t go to the gym. I had a baby boy and stayed at home with him all the time. I really resented the fact that the few moments my husband was at home, he was watching TV or playing a video game. I never got any of his attention. And I wanted ALL of it! I felt like he wasn’t meeting my needs at all. I resented the long hours he put in at work, too. I knew that he was trying to get ahead. I knew that he was having problems at work. I knew that he was trying to prove himself in his very first real full-time job, and that it was very stressful. But that didn’t stop me from resenting the time he spent away from me and our son. I stuffed all of my feelings inside, so he didn’t know how I felt. But as I listened to that song, I was suddenly struck by the knowledge that everything Gary was doing, he was doing for me. I was absolutely dumbfounded. It didn’t feel like he was doing anything for me. I felt like he was just doing whatever he wanted to do. But the Lord revealed to me what was really in Gary’s heart. He was trying to do the best job he could at work, hoping to make more money for me and our family. He believed that if he worked long hours and showed his willingness to work and did the best work he could possibly do that he would get a raise and possibly be promoted, and we would make more money. I never saw it that way before. I wanted time with him more than I wanted more money, and I just couldn’t get past that. Money didn’t mean much to me, and I didn’t understand how important being a good provider was to him. But, ultimately, he really was working long hours for me, and the Lord made me see that. Even lifting weights at the gym was as much for me as it was for him. He wanted to look good for me and to stay healthy and fit for me. I had been too selfish and self-focused to realize that, in doing those things, he was trying to let me know how much he loved me.

I felt a little better about things after that. I appreciated his efforts more. But I still felt like he wasn’t meeting my deepest needs. I needed attention. I needed for him to ask me how I was doing. I needed for him to talk to me like a friend. But he didn’t know I needed those things. And I didn’t know how to tell him. I was putting so much of my time and energy into my children that I wasn’t taking care of myself. We had 5 more children in the next 8 1/2 years. I had six children 10 years old and under. And I was doing almost everything for them and all of the housekeeping. Besides that, I was tutoring other children and trying to homeschool my own that were of legal school age. I was also doing homeschool assessments every summer for 100 homeschool families. In between all of that, I had to take classes to keep my teaching license current. As if that wasn’t enough, I acted in a Christmas play and started singing in a quartet. I was a bona fide “Mommy Martyr” to quote Cindy Rushton. I thought the busier I was, the better I was.

About this time, he had an epiphany at a Promise Keepers conference. The speaker challenged the men to do one thing each day to improve their marriage. Gary thought, “I don’t need to worry about that. My marriage is just fine.” Then he said he felt like a spotlight shone on him, and he heard a voice saying, “Your marriage is just fine? Do you really believe that? Your wife is caught up in singing in a quartet and busy with that all the time, and you’re busy working all the time, and you barely see each other, and you think your marriage is just fine?” He said he looked around to see if everybody in the stadium was staring at him, because it felt like he had just been put on the spot. Nobody else seemed to notice anything unusual, so he wiped his brow and thought about what the Lord had just said to him. When he got home, he seemed really serious and said, “We need to talk.” I was in such a state of mind that my thought was, “Oh no, he came back worse than when he left.” I always wanted him to act happy and excited. I hated to see him depressed. When he got down, I got mad at him. But when we went to our room to talk, and he told me what happened during the conference, I knew God was helping us to get this communication thing going. We talked and decided that we needed to do more together. I ended up quitting the quartet. He tried to spend more time with me. We prayed together more often. He asked me to tell him what I was really thinking, how I was really feeling. I still had a hard time with that, because I was always afraid of making him mad. It wasn’t that I was “afraid”. I just hated for him to be mad, and I avoided causing him to be angry at all costs. I assumed that things would make him angry that I know now wouldn’t have. But my desire for him to be happy all the time was so strong that I avoided communicating with him things that I should have.

To make a long story short, we went through some perilous times together, with no one but each other, the Lord and our children to depend on. We had the stuffing knocked out of us. We went through devastating loss and humiliation. But we made it through it together. I found out some more of my issues. Like how I expected Gary to meet some of my needs that only God can meet. I found out during our time in Kansas City that I was wrong to insist that Gary be happy and jolly all the time. I was wrong to get angry at him for not being happy.

Most of all, I learned that I needed to die. I had to die to myself and my desires. I had to turn to God for every need. I had to love Gary and pray for him as if my life depended on it. Because it did! Whatever happened to him happened to me. I was told by a mentor that I should pray down blessings on Gary’s head even when I felt like I hated him. There were times…! I started praying for him in a less selfish way. I started seeing things from his perspective. The Lord helped me to put myself in his shoes and sense the frustration he felt at work. I was able to build him up and encourage him in his efforts, because I got my eyes off of myself and my needs and the things I thought he should be doing and onto what he was going through and how he was feeling. I became a help meet for him in a way that I had never been before. I saw for the first time how talented he really was at technical writing. I became proud of his ability and thanked God for it in Gary’s hearing. I praised his abilities and talents and encouraged him to stand up for himself at work, instead of wishing he would just be content and not rock the boat. I was on his side for the first time. I was in his corner. We were a team working together. I got myself out of the picture altogether. I wasn’t worrying about my needs. I was too focused on his to even think about mine. And as I did this, he gave me more attention. He wanted to hear what I had to say. He shared with me every detail of what he was going through. He started trusting me to take his side.

We both died in a lot of ways during our journey of fire. Many of our dreams died. Many of our concepts died. But in the kingdom of God, life comes out of death. And sometimes you have to die to live.

As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Cor. 6:9,10

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