Friday, March 27, 2009

When someone is truly unhappy, and truly not at all content, it usually shows up in ways that others can read. You can try and hide it by making it appear that you are happy by talking of things you love. You can decorate your home with a theme of that love. You can buy jewelry that also shows others what it is that you admire or love. You can even go so far as to adorn your body with "body art" that shows the world where your heart is. I also believe that as a Godly woman, we have the responsibility to dress and act "in a manner worthy of the gospel"(Philippians 1:27) I am constantly fighting that battle with my daughters, asking them to pay more attention to modesty, and the message they are sending out by their choices in dress. Immodest clothing may cause a brother or sister in Christ to stumble with impure thoughts. I am not comfortable by the trend that is considered fashionable now to wear very thin (see through) layer over something that appears to be a "cami" or a colored bra. I am old school, and think that as a Christian woman, a Godly woman, I am to set the example. Therefore, I try and limit the amount of skin I show between my neck and knees. I tell my girls to ask the question, what is my goal here? Why am I dressing this way? Am I trying to draw attention to myself by my apparel? Am I trying to draw attention to a certain area of my body? Whose attention am I trying to get? Not that I have cleavage, but I have never felt comfortable in allowing it to show. I have always felt uncomfortable around women who do. Someone said to me that we cannot control what others think. I disagree. The battle for purity starts in the mind. Two great men in the Bible, Samson and David, were brought down because they first had lustful thoughts and then they acted upon them. An action is first conceived in the mind. Therefore, I believe, we must not only guard our own thought life, but help others with theirs. I myself love to dance. I do! It is fun! But, the places you have to go to enjoy that fun, is not acceptable to me as a Godly woman. I know the power that a woman's body has over a man. I also know that men who frequent those places, when they are there alone, they are not there because they love to dance. They are there with a woman, or in hopes to get a woman. So, for a married Godly Christian woman to be there without the proper protection of her God-given husband is just wrong in my eyes. And since my husband is a man, I would not want to put him in the situation of watching other women dance, and possibly arousing him. So, for those reasons, I chose to lay down that particular activity and walk away. I always try and make my decisions based upon "benefit". Will this benefit my witness? Will this hamper my witness. Because, above all, I want others to know I am a Christian woman, I am a Godly woman, I am a married woman, I am a mother.

As far as the drinking goes, everyone who knows me knows my reasons for how I feel about that. Just because something is not a "sin", does not mean it is good and again, it goes back to the question, "will this help my witness or hurt my witness?" No matter how much one enjoys doing something, if it causes someone to question their relationship with the Lord, based on their actions when they are "having fun", then I feel it best to lay that activity down at the Lord's feet. Again, a decision based upon what others think of me, yes. That is called "reputation" and "character". So, when I hear someone say, a Christian say, "I can't help what others think", it saddens me. Because, honestly, yes you can, you just don't care enough to try. Your reputation and your character is exactly that....what others think of you. When you say you can't help it, what it really means is you don't want to give up the fun in your life. That fun is more important to you than what others think of you. I dealt with that battle in the first years of my marriage. My husband truly was controlled by that evil. He was the "life of every party". He looked forward to it, found ways to do it. He had "friends" that did all these things, and they were not in the habit of caring whether or not he had a good marriage. Their marriages were sad and miserable, and they commiserated with each other, fueled each other's discontent. So they were only interested in trying to have a good time. Today? Everyone in my wedding album that stood on the side of Keith is divorced, at least once, some twice. Once the Lord revealed to me that what was coming out of my mouth was worse than what was going into his, I backed off, and began to truly turn it over to the Lord. I began to try my best to make my husband happy, and let God make him Holy. I truly allowed God to change my heart towards my husband. I did not respect him at first either. But once I began to respect him, honor him and love him, God truly did a miracle in our marriage. When we turn our lives and fears over to God, we are free to accept our husbands for who they are and the role they play in our lives. I truly worked at making Keith my best friend. I tried to love what he loved. I made the effort. I worked on the one side of the equation in my marriage I could work I quit praying God would change him, and prayed, "Lord, change me". Once I truly began to love Keith, the way Keith needed to be loved, what we had between us blossomed. My marriage went from living hell to heaven on earth. I know that physical love, physical touch is so very very important to a man. It truly is their way of measuring how much we love them. So, more often than not, it is my gift to him, as my husband. Whether I feel like it or not, I make the effort to go the extra mile, for his sake. I know what a difference it makes in his well being, his "man-hood" so to speak. It makes him feel respected as a man, if his wife shows him physical love willingly. So, bottom line, I quit praying for grace to do this, and I quit praying that God would change Keith. I simply began to do whatever is necessary to make my husband happy. Whatever it was. The change in Keith as he began to see that I "loved and respected" him, was nothing short of a miracle worked by God.

I feel it is very important to spend good quality time with happy contented wives. This is a support system that can't be denied. When you spend time with those that are not happy with their husbands, and they share that fact with you often, it tends to breed discontent in your own marriage. Seek out those that will help you be a better wife to your husband. Those Godly women that will encourage you in your disappointments and frustrations. Steer clear of those that would offer you advice such as ...your right, that's wrong, he shouldn't do that, you deserve better than that, blah blah blah. Seek out and find a good solid support group of godly women who earnestly try and make their husbands happy. If their husband is not happy, they diligently try harder to figure out what they can do to make him happy. Not seek out like-minded, unhappy, frustrated women who resent the fact that their husbands are not what they had dreamed of.

So, I guess in short, I would say you need:
1)to be more CONTENT with the location God has you in. Bloom and blossom where He has planted you.
2)and the husband God has you with. Love that man! Make him happy!

Contentment is not getting what you want, it is wanting what you have.
Marriage is not supposed to make you happy, it's supposed to make you married.
It's your job, your calling, to make your (husband) marriage happy, and satisfying.
And, give up whatever activity that doesn't say to the world that Jesus is your First Love.