Monday, February 16, 2009

Marital Moments Issue 22 - 100th Post!

It is timely that my 100th post is on a Marital Moment day. I began this blog awhile ago because I felt God prompting me to start one. Honestly, I barely knew what a blog was and didn't know if I wanted to put my thoughts and heart out here on the internet for anyone to read. I have been through a lot in my life. I have learned so much along the way and God has opened my eyes and heart to see Him in the everyday, ordinary parts of my life.

A huge part of why I enjoy blogging is because I have a passion for people reaching their God given potential in life and marriage. Those passions have been birthed out of pain, loss, suffering, love, joy and peace in my own life. I am writing this blog because it is a part of my own purpose in Christ.

I fear that occasionally when people read, they may think I am trying to sound like I have it all together; that is not the case. I am learning every day. Often, the things I post about are things that God is at work on in my own heart. I fail. (often) My husband fails. My kids fail. Even our cat doesn't have it all together! But our character is being shaped (in our teachable moments), our love for each other grows (even when we have days where we don't "like" each other very much), and our God is faithful always -even when we are not.

God has been at work in my heart in the area of respect and submission lately. The new sermon series at church is on the topic, we just had a devotional on it in our MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers), and it is something that does not necessarily come easily to me. It is easier to believe that someone has to earn my respect on a daily basis rather than for me to respect someone's position and to automatically submit because of that role or position.

Growing up we had relatives who we jokingly referred to as "The Bickersons." As children, we would count the minutes until we could leave when we went to their house. Although they chose to marry one another; it was as if they were not willing to allow themselves to be a reflection of one another. They would often sarcastically put each other down so they could be the one who was "right," more informed, and approved of. They were so insecure in who they each were as individuals and yet convinced that they were each somehow better than the other. It was draining to be around.

Most of us have heard the Scriptures about wives submitting to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:22; 5:24 & Colossians 3:18) However; the Scriptures that have really been jumping out to me are ones that happen as a result of proper submission.

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." (Proverbs 31:11-12) "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land." (Proverbs 31:23) "

Now the Proverbs 31 woman is one that I think we all kind of look at with a bit of disdain sometimes. It seems overwhelming to do all that is in this passage of Scripture; but one area we can and should work on is building the confidence of our husbands, bringing them good, and respecting them in front of others so that they, in turn, will also respect our men.

This truth hit me as I was praying over my son the other night. Each night before bed we pray together and I was praying for his future wife. I heard myself say (do you ever do that or am I the only one?) "Please bless him with a wife who will love and respect him unconditionally. As soon as the words were out of my mouth it was as if the Holy Spirit was asking me, "Do you love and respect your husband unconditionally?" The bitter truth is that there are days when I want him to earn my respect. My prayer for my son's wife turned into my prayer for myself.

"Dear Lord, please help me to love and respect my husband unconditionally. Allow him to have confidence in me. Allow me to bring him good all the days of my life. I pray that my husband would be respected by others because they can see the respect that I have for him."

One other powerful Scripture on submission for any of you who have a spouse who does not know the Lord:

"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives." (I Peter 3:1)

Thank you to each of you who read my blog. Your comments and friendships are truly a blessing and encouragement to me! I pray that God is blessing you and working in your hearts!



Pam D said...

We really are on the same track, aren't we? 100th post within a couple of days of each other, and Bionicle loving boys in the house! I'm glad to be able to get to know you via Blogland, Shanda, and I look forward to reading your next 100 posts!

Mikki Black said...

How wonderful God is to keep us thinking things together, like we're all part of one big.... hey. Cool.

I've been praying a similar prayer lately, myself. Good to know we're all praying together.

Happy 100th!

Shelley said...

Thanks, Shanda. I really needed to hear this. I have been fighting a battle now for several years of anger and bitterness towards my husband because of things that have happened in the past and continue to happen. I am the one I should be concerned with. Not what he does or doesn't do. I am the only one I can control. And I should be asking God to create a heart in me that is not bitter towards my hubs. Just love him anyway and quit being bitter. (This is a lot easier said than done). SO, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate your blog.

Shanda said...

Pam - I love how we are able to connect with new "friends" via the internet; it still amazes me.

Mikki - It is cool isn't it?! Thanks for being a friend in "both" worlds!

Shelley - Amen girl! You are on the right track. It is a lot easier said than done; but God's grace is sufficient! I am praying for you. HUGS!!

RosyRose said...

I know what your saying about putting your heart out there for everyone to read. Sometimes I pray that things I write will not be misinterpeted...I am grateful for finding blogs like yours that can inspire me on two levels....1. I am not alone and 2. I am never too old to learn from others,never! Thanks for sharing your heart!:)

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Happy 100th post! :) This seems to be an area of struggle for so many women. There are so many little facets to being respectful and submissive! Something we all need to pray about! :) Thanks for being so inspiring with this blog, I love to come and visit you here!! :)


Xazmin said...

Thanks for sharing some beautiful thoughts. It's nice to find so many people in the blogosphere who love our Savior.

Alos thanks for stopping by my blog!

Kathryn said...

Such a good post, Shanda. (And, congratulations on your 100th one!) :-)

The Lord is really convicting me, and I am really praying to love my husband unconditionally. When I get irritated with him, I pray that the Lord will allow me to see him through His eyes, the way He created him to be.

It's still tough sometimes, though. Like today, for instance. We should be delighted when we have an extra-long weekend, but I have been about to jump out of my skin all day ... just waiting for Chris and Katy to leave the house and go to basketball practice tonight! Whew! Thank goodness they left about 30 minutes ago. :-)

As always, your encouragement, honesty, and prayers are greatly appreciated. Hope y'all had a good day!

Shanda said...

RosyRose - I was grateful to find your blog as well. It is always more fun to journey together in our faith!

Stacey - Your blog is inspiring to me too- can't wait to see what you do with your laundry room!

Xazmin - I am blessed to be your SITSta & your sister in the Lord!

Kathryn - You have been one of the biggest blessings of friendship this year in "both" worlds. The way that Scripture flows freely from the core of who you are touches me deeply.

Daveda said...

Great post Shanda. I did a Bible Study a while back on the Proverbs 31 woman and it was taught from the the view point that the Proverbs 31 woman is not someone we are trying to become, but the person we are becoming because of Jesus.It was really good. Your post made me think of it.

It seems as though its been forever since we touched based. I miss you too!
Love ya, sister

Shanda said...

Daveda~I LOVED that you mentioned that we don't have to strive to "be" the Proverbs 31 woman," but be who we are in Christ! I'd love to get the name of that Bible Study.

I believe that God gives us glimpses of His heart and His desires in Scripture (Prov. 31 woman) but that He has called us to be exactly who we are as we grow in Him. Amen sister!

I miss you too girl! HUGS!

Anonymous said...

Shanda, I've said it before. I truly believe God has given you a ministry in the area of encouraging and exhorting women in their marriages. Your words of wisdom have certainly blessed and challenged me in my marriage. Thank you again for your obedience and your willingness to share from your life. Everything that has happened in your life God is using for His glory. Praise the Lord!

Alyce said...

Thanks again Shanda..this is too cool..cause I was convicted (beginning yesterday) of the very same issues. I complain about wanting my husband to be more of a spiritual leader, etc. of our home..but then sometimes I think God is telling me that I am not allowing it to happen. I am a controlling person..and I've got to let go, and watch God work through him.
btw..I friended you on FB..don't know if you got it or not.

joanofalltrades said...

Congrats on your 100th post! I am so thankful for you starting this blog. It is so true that we have to remember to respect our husbands and our actions show other people how to treat us. A lot of times people will say cliche things to me and my husband like "you know how women/men are." People look at us crazy when we say, "no, my spouse doesn't do that or we don't have that problem." Not to say that we are better than anybody else and we don't have our fair share of problems; I think it's the way that you choose to deal with the problems and keep your relationship sacred that makes God smile. Your words always uplift me. God bless you!

Melanie Dorsey said...

Hi Shanda!
Thanks for stopping by my blog (DoTell).
This is a great post and the P31:11 scripture is one I have been studying, too!
I'm not sure if I will be attending the She Speaks conference this year. Possibly is all I can say for now.
I'll stop by again.

Margarita said...

I don't even know you but the Lord directed me to your blog this morning. I am a missionary in Central America and I was searching for some more scripture to pray for my husband becasue I have been finding myself in the spot you spoke of in this blog. Wanting my husband to earn my repect by the way he shows me love!! God has used you this early morning to convict me once again and convey to me the importnace of my role as a wife. Thank you and may God reichly bless you. I hope to visit more often as your title "Taechable Heart" is my hearts desire.