Women, we have a huge issue in our homes that we need to get serious about dealing with. Like a hot -pink, fat elephant it sits in our house disturbing our marriages and our children. It steals the peace we desire within our walls and within our souls. We can deny it in public, but at home it is right there staring at us in the face, making everyone uncomfortable. Time to talk about the elephant in the room…and then kick it out.
Our issue is anger. Too many of us are angry women with short fuses and long memories. We spend a lot of our time frustrated and hear ourselves yelling way. too. much. Society has become accustomed to this lifestyle. We have kitchen gadgets that clean our microwaves that we humorously call “Angry Mama”. We joke about being a “Momster” when we get mad at our kids. I hear myself saying, “You better stop, you don’t want to see mom angry!” As if their actions are responsible for how I behave. Do we really have reason to be so upset?
Knowing I planned to write this blog, I’ve been paying attention to all the things that make me angry throughout an average day. Oh...my…I have so much to be angry about. From lying tongues to broken promises to deaf ears to hurtful words - the obstacles stack up so high it seems too huge to conquer!
This is often where our first mistake is made. We women think that if we can fix the problem (usually a person) we won’t have to be angry anymore. If I can just get my kids to hang up their wet towels instead of throwing them on the floor I won’t have to yell and remind them 36 times. Does this really work? No, not at all. Fact is, as long as we live there will be an abundance of things to be angry about. We need to quit looking at ways to fix this from the outside when we know full well it is an internal issue.
Let’s start taking our anger seriously and admit that it is wrong… okay let’s say it…it’s a SIN. We know it is wrong because we feel it. We women don’t want to be angry! We hate the feeling it brings - during the rage and most certainly after. We see the affects it has on those around us. How many of you still remember the anger of a parent that was directed at you? The intense flare of emotion often has a searing effect on those it is directed at. Sin always hurts period.
Not all anger is sin, be sure you hear me on that, there is righteous anger. We are not talking about that today and most of what we experience as women in our homes does not fall under that category, even if we think it does. It is most likely ugly, self-righteousness.
These are the (fairly well known) verses God led me to this week (okay, so I didn’t just “happen” upon them, God smacked me with these verses as I read them to my boys), found in James 1:19-21, “Know this, my beloved brothers [and sisters]: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
Being told to be “slow to anger” is enough of a direct command for us to stop, but God graciously gives us the reasoning too - anger “does not produce the righteousness of God”. It does not make us more holy, it does not sanctify us, it does not make us more like Jesus. Anger is included under the categories of filth and wickedness that we should “put away”. What should we do then? “Receive with meekness the implanted word”. What word is that? The word that is “able to save” our souls – only God’s words save, specifically Jesus who is God’s word incarnate. This word is “implanted” in us because it is part of who we are, we are God’s, he is in us.
Simply put, we need to turn from anger and humbly focus on God’s word that is within us. When God’s word is abundant in our hearts and lives there is no place for anger. Grace and mercy abound as well as patience and self-control. I like the sound of a heart like that! It is then that we begin to produce the righteousness of God that we desire. These blessings (the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us) overflow onto those around us. Talk about a turnaround in the condition of your home!
I won’t deny it, this will be difficult work. Yet it is what God call us to, so he will provide the strength to do it as we trust in him and the power of his word. Therefore consume it daily with meekness, it will transform your heart and your home.
I was at a Bible study before sitting down to write this blog tonight. One of the things we discussed is ways that Satan wreaks havoc in this world. Some of the topics discussed were abortion, homosexuality, and thinking we can do things on our own without God’s help. I couldn’t help but think how Satan is simply living up to his name as the deceiver of the world.
We read about it in Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” We have abortion because Satan has deceived us that we are in charge of our own bodies and choice should be valued above life. Tolerance of any type of union is pushed because we have been blinded to the truth of God’s Word that marriage is between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24). We are deceived everyday thinking that we can even breathe apart from God’s authority to allow it to happen.
The name Satan literally means “adversary” which also tells us what he does. He is an antagonist, he is against us always, he is for no one. He hates all people, believers and non-believers alike (that is his nature), but he often targets Christians. This is pointed out in scripture in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” To keep this simple, ladies - Satan is real and he is hunting you down.
I want you to pay attention to this today because you need to know that you have an enemy intending to do you harm every single day of your life. What are you doing to prevent his deception in your life? We take self-defense courses to learn how to defend ourselves from physical attack, do we take spiritual attack as seriously? I don’t think we do.
What lies are you listening to? Are there common ones in your life that keep popping up? (You’re a bad mother, you’re a failure, church doesn’t matter, the Bible is subjective …) Realize who is talking to you - it is your Adversary. John describes him this way, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (8:44). He is full of lies and constantly spewing them at you. Do you realize this?
This is why I encourage you to question everything! Question your beliefs, question what others tell you, even the thoughts that cross your mind each day (where are they coming from?). There is only one standard of truth and that is God’s infallible Word. Should we question God’s word? Yes! In a right way, look there for truth and answers! Don’t simply doubt and walk away. Being an inquisitive reader, always asking “why?” It is a great way to search the Bible for understanding. I have such confidence in God’s Word because I have been examining the Bible for years myself. The more I read it, the more proof I find of its truth. I dare you to try it yourself.
It is there that we find the only true defense system that protects us from our Antagonist. We are told in Ephesians 6:11 to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” And, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;” (v. 16). Our enemy is scheming against us, but we have a shield of faith to protect us. Faith in what? Faith in a God who has overcome the world (Jn. 16:3) and who has authority over the Enemy (Mt. 28:18) and who has promised to defeat our Enemy for good. Revelation 20:10, “and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where…they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
We fight lies with truth, truth is found in the Word of God which is called the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). Arm yourself well and defend yourself daily. As 1 Peter 5:8 says “be watchful” for that prowling lion.
I want to make clear, we cannot simply blame Satan for our wrong doing. He may point us in the right (wrong) direction, but we are the ones taking willing steps into darkness. We are held accountable for our actions before God. God is the one who will hold up our “beliefs” to the measuring rod of his perfect Word. Your decisions, beliefs and actions are on your shoulders. That is why you need to seriously question everything.
Don’t take the word of your priest, pastor, spouse, friend, counselor, teacher or parent as truth before weighing it against Scripture. Same goes for your personal feelings of right and wrong (“The heart is deceitful above all things” Jer. 17:9) and mainstream beliefs accepted by the misguided majority.
Question everything until you find solid truth to build your life on. That will be the solid bedrock of Jesus Christ.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Two things I frequently desire as a woman: help and security. God is both of those things for me, and he fills the roles perfectly. This psalm spells it out for us; walk with me through it today.
Help: Whether I admit it or not, I am a needy person. I need help in many areas of life, from housework to hugs. My family can help in limited ways, but never perfectly. Only God can be my true Helper. He alone is fully sufficient to cover all of my lacking, all of my imperfections (and boy, do I have a lot of them!). On the days I feel overly strained and empty, I call on him even more. I pray for his help, I lift my eyes to the hills (v. 1), up to the horizon, looking forward to where I am going…to where he is! When I feel weak, I read the Words he wrote to me and am reminded that my foot cannot slip because he holds it fast (v.3). He is where I am planted and I will not fall (praise God for that because somedays I feel like I might). What can hinder my God from helping me? Nothing! He has made everything and it is at his command (v.2). He is always there, he does not sleep or get weary (praise God, because I sure do). He is present, strong and attentive (what comfort that brings!). I am helpless, I cannot save myself at all. God is that help I desperately need and he has saved me.
Protection: The Lord keeps me! How precious to know that I am safe because God has declared me “a keeper!” This is by his grace alone (knowing myself, I would have thrown me back). I cannot keep myself from evil, I find myself wandering toward it every day, but the Lord keeps me from “all evil” (v. 7). I will not be forever stained by it, I cannot be (what a relief!). He sustains my life, it is his, he purchased it at an unfathomably high price. I am not worthy, but he keeps me because what he spent on me declares me as worthy - the infinitely valuable blood of his son.
He uses his creation to bless me and not harm me (vv. 5, 6). All things bend to his will, even the sun and moon (yes, be amazed). “Your going out and your coming in” (v. 8) is language from Old Testament times when kings went out to war and came home (in) again. War still rages today and my Lord has placed me in the fray. I am NOT terrified because he is my help and he comes from the hills. So that is where my gaze rests. I go on battling and watching, battling and watching every day. I will be kept by him “forevermore” (v. 8). Eternally protected by my Keeper, this causes me to fight harder. My Lord wins, he has told me that already (he wrote it down over and over again so I wouldn’t forget), so I fight on like the woman he destined me to be.
My God keeps me and my God helps me. My God is mighty and Lord of all! I pray you serve him too.
This past Sunday at church, I sat behind a young mother holding her baby. The baby was a happy little guy and would often drool down his mom’s shoulder. I’m sure it wasn’t comfortable for her, but it made me smile. This momma had fought the “Sunday Morning Battle” and overcome. She made it to church to worship with her family.
It is no easy task for a mom with young children to make it to church on a Sunday morning. Let’s be honest, it is a real battle. The list of good excuses is long and easy: I need sleep, I just want a break, we can read the Bible on our own, we will be a distraction, the kids will make a fuss and I’ll just end up sitting in the nursery. Hey, and church is optional, right? It isn’t work or a social event. Most people don’t go.
Plus the orchestration it takes to get the family out the door is a grand production of its own. You have to get everyone ready and looking decent, pack up what feels like half your household, and get yourself ready. This often equates to a rushed shower (maybe) and cramming into 10 minutes what used to take an hour. It is so much work.
I get the temptation to stay home on Sunday mornings, I really do. I battled the same internal argument with myself not so many years ago. There is a true, strong pull from the world to cave in and stay home. But when we read Hebrews 10:24, 25 we don’t see any asterisks: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” The habit of the world is to stay home and stay away, but there is no blessing in that! That is not where this verse says the stirring and encouraging takes place. It happens with others, when we meet together.
In Acts 2:42 it says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” True devotion is proven when tested with challenges and temptations. What is your level of devotion in this challenging period of life?
Am I leaving out the dads? Yep. This is a blog for women. I would love to think the dads are leading and helping Sunday mornings so that the whole family gets to service. Many do, but not all. Moms, regardless of what he does, you still need to get up, get the kids and yourself ready (even if you don’t feel perfectly put together) and get to church. No, it is not about legalism and church attendance, it is about obedience and doing what God calls you to. The Church is the body of Christ (Col. 1:18) and his bride (Rev. 21:2). If you are a Christian, it is where you will be – together.
I’m not talking out the side of my mouth here, I did this as a single mother for years with a baby who had terrible colic and then separation anxiety. I spent many hours in the nursery with him wondering why I even bothered trying every week. But God uses all things. In the nursery I met wonderful, godly people with servant hearts and God used them to minister to me.
So to all you moms out there coming to church with young children, thank you! Thank you for your devotion and for overcoming all the easy excuses. The whole church body benefits when you are there, we are not whole without you (see 1 Cor. 12). You serve a vital role that you may not even realize. Keep coming, keep bringing the kids. Come with spit up down your shoulder and with your over-active toddler. We want you there. God commands fellowship and what he commands, he will enable you to do with his strength. Obedience to God brings blessings. Come and be blessed.