Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Deal in Lies

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hate. - Rudyard Kipling's "If"
One of the reasons that Christian women often feel so burdened down is because we put so much pressure on ourselves with unreal expectations.  The world itself is constantly dealing out lies to women about how they should look, act, shop, dress, work, parent, even think, through tv, magazines, ads, books, and even other women.  Women, even young teens, are pressured to give themselves away.
Christian women can be told even more lies...We are expected to be all of the above, while being supermom, having a perfect looking home, having personal Bible study and prayer time, attending and volunteering for all church events, pleasing our husband all the time, and strictly adhering to the church's standard of behavior.  Oftentimes we simply label this perfect model of a woman "The Proverbs 31 Woman."
THIS is being lied about and dealing in lies.  THIS causes us to give way to hate...ourselves. THIS is what causes us to lose the joy of a life found in Christ.  THIS is what burdens us down, enslaving us to Satan's lies.
So how do we see these lies for what they are?  We learn who it is we serve and what His expectations of us are, and we don't worry about anyone else's opinion.  "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32  All throughout the New Testament we see that Christ came to offer us freedom.  We are set free in order to live a life for him without burden.  So about these lies?  Here is the basics of what God asks of His women:
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5
So what are we to do? 
1) Watch that our behavior is positive (reverent, not slanderers, not drunkards, self-controlled, pure, kind). 
2) Love our family.  It does not give a criteria of what we must accomplish each day for our husbands and children, nor does it give the 5 steps to have the perfect child.  It simply says to love them.  How easy is that?
3)  Be busy at home.  What?!  Yes! The word busy was used! However, if you notice, there is no indication as to what type of home you should have, how it should be decorated, how clean it should be, nor how many cute pinterest ideas you have incorporated into your hall closet!  It just says to be busy at home.  This opens up the doors for you to use that creativity that God gave you to create the living space for your family to fit your family.  It opens the doors for you to do what needs doing and not worry about what doesn't get done.  God doesn't expect you to have everything done each day; He expects you to be busy working on it.  As I type, I have 3 baskets of laundry lying on my bedroom floor waiting for me to fold them.  Are my kids still alive?  Yes.  Is my family still functioning with my laundry on the floor, unfolded?  Yes.  Should I have stayed up until midnight last night folding it?  No.  God doesn't want a worn out, sleep-deprived version of you.  He wants you at your best!  So take the time needed to rest, without feeling guilty for what isn't done.  Then, when the day begins again and it is time to work, be busy at home (not on facebook or the other wonderful, mind-sucking sites there are!).
4) Be subject to your husband.  As much as we would love to deny it or ignore it, God wants us to let our husbands be the head of the household.  Does that mean that you are just a slave to him and that it doesn't matter what your opinion is on things?  Not if you are in a godly, loving marriage.  It simply means that God will hold your husband accountable for the things that go on in your family.  It means that it is your husband's job to manage everything.  In our family, I do the planning and the organizing and the finances!  I do these things because my husband asks me to because he knows that God has gifted me in those areas.  Yet, I always make sure to tell him exactly what I have going on - approve it with him, in a manner of speaking.  Allow your husband to be responsible for that which God will hold him responsible. 

So today, my dear sister, don't deal in lies, and don't give way to hatred.  Live a life of freedom and truth...and love!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 

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