grace, Spirit-led living, witness

A Social Media Heart Check

February 5, 2016

large_a-social-media-heart-check-dtprssud

Before social media, life seemed simpler, uncluttered. You knew what you alone were having for dinner, not twenty others. Hours in a day were more productive. Focused. No scroll-and-click distractions. No blog hopping. You hunkered down and worked — or played with your kids or read a good book — without thought as to what you might be missing. And you knew people, warts and all, not just their happy highlight reels, the ones that move you to discontentment with your own life.

Social media has attracted masses of us because we benefit from the connection, the information, and the inspiration. But for Christians, as many of us can attest, there are potential pitfalls as well. Though we desire to glorify the Lord and represent him well, the world of social media can upset those intentions, if we’re not careful. Wisdom would have us check our hearts regularly by keeping key questions in mind.

Am I Walking by the Spirit?

Social media is robust with real-time engagement. Timelines are filled with reaction and raw emotion. Opinions are wielded like swords. Political and popular figures are skewered with aplomb. It’s easy to step into this fast-moving current and get carried by the flesh.

Social media enlivens our carnal nature. We enjoy quick satisfaction. Emotion wants an outlet. Complaints must be heard. Anger needs to be expressed. And contrary views must be vigorously opposed, because that’s what the flesh enjoys as well — superiority. It will mow down another’s views — succinctly if on Twitter — while elevating its own, earning a satisfying flurry of shares and retweets. We all know how much the flesh loves validation.

Continue reading over at Desiring God . . .

. . . then would love to discuss here at the blog!

grace, parenting, seasons

A Mother, A Daughter & The Gospel

February 2, 2016

Mother Daughter Gospel (2)I love my daughter Cameron. She’s seventeen, which isn’t that old, and yet, I can look back on several seasons already, and smile.

Like when she was four, and I began teaching her to read. I remember the cute way she’d sound out vowel and consonant pairs, and her wide-eyed excitement when she could recognize those vowels and consonants in real words, and read them. I smile still when I think about it.

And there was the season of read-alouds on the sofa. She’d snuggle next to me as I read Mr. Popper’s Penguins or Charlotte’s Web. Then she’d read aloud her latest, which for a good while, was one of the Ramona books. That girl couldn’t get enough of Ramona and her antics. Though dog-eared and the covers torn, I can’t part with those books. Too many memories.

And there was the season, several years, when we’d go to our local rec center for weekly swim lessons. She’d beg me to stay long after the lesson ended so she could splash and play. One day I looked up and she was swimming laps.

And there was the season of Little House on the Prairie. Every night after dinner we watched. Every show. From every season. As far removed as the Ingalls family was from our way of life, something about it enthralled her. She’d go on to watch those episodes again.

And seasons in the Word, from Leading Little Ones to God, to Kids’ Inductive Studies, to memorizing scripture, to mom-daughter devotionals, to straight Bible study. Truly, the richest times.  A season I pray remains always.

And the seasons where she started playing volleyball, basketball, and softball, with her sports-loving dad coaching on the sidelines. Every year, getting taller, growing stronger.

And then she was fourteen, old enough for mother-daughter strength training. Every week at the gym together, lifting, tossing the medicine ball, lunging with kettle balls. We strength train together still, at a different gym.

And can’t forget Lord of the Rings marathons and 24 marathons, and we’ve got our can’t-miss DVR’d American Idol and The Voice. Even now, we’re in the flow of Idol’s last season. Together, mother and daughter.

I could never count the hours spent, the hours enjoyed with my daughter. And yet— keeping it real—there are also moments when we clash. Like, tempers flaring, words flying-type clash.

It’s burdened my heart lately, that I’ve not glorified the Lord in this regard. If I don’t hear the right words or tone from her, I correct, as I should. But my correction often matches the tone I’m correcting. And as I deal with her words, there are times I daresay the Lord is ready to deal with mine.

Too often, my words flow from the flesh rather than the Spirit. They flow from a place of reaction, from a need to one-up, a place that says, “Oh, you think you can come at me like that? Really? You must not know . . .” It’s part of my old nature. I was always quick-tongued, always ready to give whatever I got. The Lord has done a mighty work in me. And yet, if I get teenage ‘tude, my flesh is right there to meet it.

Don’t get me wrong. I think we’d all agree that discipline is in order. And though we may discipline differently, as believers, we understand that it should all be done in love. We are grateful that that’s how the Lord disciplines us—in love. But this past week, when words left my mouth, and I heard my own tone, it wasn’t long before I felt that holy conviction that said—that wasn’t love.

As I’ve repented and prayed, the Lord has graciously reminded me of my responsibility to make the gospel known, right here in my home. Verses that burden my heart with respect to others, apply right here, at home. Like this one—

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth . . .” 2 Timothy 2:24-26

With gentleness. That pricked me especially. Why am I able to walk in gentleness with respect to others (okay, not all the time, but you know what I mean), but in my own home, the flesh kicks up? And when I’m not gentle or kind, what am I conveying about the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is the Lord’s love conditional, dependent on right behavior and right words, with a right tone? Is the Lord short on patience? Does He say, I’ve told you this one too many times, so what’s your problem? To the contrary, He has shown much patience with me in all of my failings. Never once has His love wavered. And how ironic . . . In letting me know I haven’t been gentle, the Lord was gentle.

This verse beckoned me also:

“. . . but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

For those of us who’ve been transformed by the saving power of Christ, we’re called to make known the good news. To tell of the love, mercy, and grace of God in saving a people who cannot save themselves. Who can never be good enough . . . who will always fail in word, deed, and tone. We are called to lovingly point people to the glory of the Cross, to Jesus who sacrificed His life so that we could live, eternally. Yes, to the Cross, where we all need bow in humble submission, including daughters and their mothers.

The awesome news from that verse is that we have power to witness, by the Holy Spirit. Power in situations where we’ll be ridiculed and rejected. And power even in our homes, maybe especially in our homes, where people know us best, where they see us in good times and bad, when we’re tired and irritable, and when we’re low on patience. Praise God that He’s given us power to rise above.

It would pain me to know that someone was turned off to the gospel because I’ve been a poor witness. Here at home, in my own Jerusalem, I pray to walk in the power that Christ has given to represent Him well.

How about you? Do you walk in the power the Lord has given you, such that you represent Him well at home . . . or wherever you are “tried” the most?

P.S. I shared this post with Cameron, to be sure she was okay with it, and asked her forgiveness for those moments I haven’t represented Jesus well. What a blessing that even in this—acknowledging my need of forgiveness and grace—the Lord is glorified.

 

grace, parenting, seasons

On Seasons & Sacrifice

January 27, 2016

On Seasons & Sacrifice

I got the email on Monday. There was a spot for me in the online version of Apologetics & Outreach, a seminary class that started that same day. “Do you still want it?”

Well. Yes. I wanted that spot and the spot in the on-campus course I’d pre-registered for. In fact, I wanted all the other spots for which I’d pre-registered in the past couple of years . . . pre-registrations that never culminated in actual enrollment because of obligations at home.

That’s what had happened this time. Back in November, I could dream. I could peruse required course offerings, check days and times, and pick what worked. At least, what I thought would work. I would knock out two courses spring semester in furtherance of my Master’s in Theological Studies.

But by January, the reality of homeschooling high school kicked in. As much as I wanted to regard the load as lighter, since our son was off to college, I had very real obligations still. And I could see where there might be conflicts. So I let the registration deadline pass. But here’s the thing—so much time had passed since I’d last taken a class that I would now have to re-apply. I was resigned. Maybe this was a path I was never meant to pursue.

And then the email.

Hmm…. Lord?

I prayed intermittently throughout the morning and afternoon, knowing I needed to respond by day’s end. And was actually poised to say, thanks, but no. But I felt the Lord responded by giving insight. This would be one class, not two. And it would be strictly online. I could listen to lectures and complete assignments on my own time. Plus, the subject matter and assigned books were actually interesting.

So I enrolled. And when I logged-in to the software the seminary uses for online courses, there it was. My profile still showed the one course I’d taken in the spring of 2013.  One course. By the end of this semester, I will have taken two courses toward my degree.

Two.

This was not what I envisioned when I was admitted in 2012.

This does not fit my personality, my love of learning, or my internal drive. All I could think was, I could have been done by now!

Could have been done. Were it not for my season. Were it not for the first-things God had called me to.

It’s for these same reasons that I’ve turned down speaking requests and stepped down from teaching women at my local church. Though these things are exactly what I believe God has called me to do, He’s taught me—with trial and error—the importance of seasons, and priorities. I don’t operate on my own timetable. I can’t do life with “me” or even “ministry” as my main consideration, if that ministry supersedes ministry at home.

But I could have been done by now! still rose up. The “driven” me bemoaned the passing of time and all that I thought I would surely have accomplished by now, including languages I wanted to learn for Bible study.

Then the Lord reminded me of last weekend, what He’d shown me with respect to my son. When Quentin and Cameron were young, we began the study of Latin. I wanted them to learn, and I wanted to learn myself, given the foundational nature of the language. Even envisioned one day reading the Latin Vulgate Bible. I didn’t get far in my personal studies, given homeschooling demands. But Quentin went on to study four years of Latin while homeschooling high school, and spent the last two of those years reading portions of the Latin Vulgate Bible.

And there was Biblical Hebrew, admittedly a distant dream. As awesome as it would be to learn, I didn’t even attempt it. No time. But Quentin studied Hebrew his senior year, and now continues his studies on his own, regularly reading his Hebrew Bible.

And there was Greek, my main language love. The kids studied that too for a time. (In the picture, circa 2005, Quentin is working on Greek, Cameron on Latin.) I spent a good bit of time studying it myself, and would have thought that surely by 2016, I’d be reading the Greek New Testament. Um, no. But here in 2016, Quentin is taking Intensive Greek at Wash U, and his course textbook is one I happened to have on the shelf—one I’d bought for myself, to aid in learning the language.

In all of this, the Lord let me know that “my” seasons and plans and dreams aren’t about me. They are about what the Lord wants to do through me. He reminded me of the verse that shook me to the core when my kids were young:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24

Now that my kids are 19 and 17, I can see the fruit of dying. Yes, dying meant I wouldn’t accomplish certain things in the way I wanted. But everything the Lord wanted to accomplish—He accomplished. And as much as my flesh wants to rise up and balk at the personal consequences of dying, I’m grateful for the Lord’s reminder. That I’m supposed to be dead still. That in dying, I bear fruit. And that He continues to accomplish all that He wills to accomplish, in His time. Even if it means one course every blue moon.

What has the Lord taught you about seasons and sacrifice?

 

 

grace, Spirit-led living, witness

If God Can Use Hair . . .

January 24, 2016

If God Can Use Hair

A little over three years ago, I had this thought—I should go natural again. It came out of nowhere. It had been seven years since I’d worn my hair natural, and not once had I considered returning. Not that I had anything against it. It simply hadn’t entered my mind. At all.

I wondered, Where is this coming from? I hadn’t been perusing natural hair sites. Hadn’t had any natural hair convos. Didn’t have any issues with my hair as it was. Yet, there was this stirring within, that unmistakable feeling that moves you.

I hopped on Twitter, I think just to hear myself say it—“I’m thinking about going natural.” My natural hair peeps responded and, armed with their feedback and links, I was stirred all the more. I had no idea there was a vast online natural hair world, which didn’t exist my first time around. I watched video after video, growing excited about the idea, wondering how long I would transition. I had big chopped the first time around, but that was before social media, and profile pictures, and thousands of eyes to judge the result. Yeah, nothing radical this time around. I would wait several months for the relaxer to grow out.

Which was when the other thought hit me, one that canceled my own.

I needed to big chop.

Seriously, Lord??

Many of you know what came next, since I walked it out in real time here on the blog. The Lord showed me me—the me that had grown attached to long, relaxed hair, the me that feared a big chop wouldn’t look as nice. Rather, that other people wouldn’t think a big chop looked as nice.

Which led to prayers and soul searching and more prayers and an unshakeable realization that God was clearly moving me to go natural, to big chop, and to share my heart issues regarding all of it, along with an Image series. On YouTube.

I had no YouTube channel, no video camera, and no knowledge of how to film or edit video.

Really, Lord? All this for hair?

But it wasn’t about hair. I’m loving this natural hair journey and all that I’m learning. But hair is not an eternal matter—souls are. And souls are not only an eternal matter, but an urgent one.

I’m always struck by Jesus’ words in the fourth chapter of John. That’s “the woman at the well” chapter, and His words to her blow me away—but that’s not the part I’m talking about. Right after the woman left, His disciples were urging Him to eat. They’d been in the city buying food and knew He must be hungry. But He told them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). Then He said this:

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:35

The disciples knew about sowing and reaping. You sowed at a certain time, and you waited for the harvest, several months later. But spiritually, seeds are being sown and watered all the time. The Lord is always working. And He calls us to join Him, to see with spiritual eyes the fields that are out there waiting, the fields that are white for harvest.

In this case, the Lord simply used natural hair to move me to a new medium—a field I knew nothing about—one with tons of women who love natural hair, in order to reach souls. Three years later, I understand that all the more. I’ve heard from dozens of women who found my channel because of a hair video, yet were impacted by the study on Ephesians or the Desperate series on the Psalms, and the like.

Looking at it now, I can’t help but ask, If God can use hair, what can’t He use? If God can bring fruit from a big chop, what might He be asking you to do, with fruit bearing in mind?

Maybe you’ve discounted it, because it seems minor or silly. It can’t be God because it’s not deep enough. He’s not into the “little” things. Or maybe you’ve discounted it because it makes you uncomfortable. Like me, you wonder what people might say. Or you can’t make sense of it. Or you don’t know how. Or you can’t see where it will lead . . .

Meanwhile, the fields are waiting . . .

The Lord is working a myriad of things together which we could never fathom, things that pertain to people near and across the globe, weaving circumstances and situations and timing in such a way that that one thing He moves you to do can cause a ripple effect that impacts souls for eternity.

So I ask again…. If God can use hair, what might He be looking to use in your life, such that you may bear fruit for the Kingdom? Pray into it. Walk by faith. And one day, you will look back on it and rejoice at what the Lord has done.

“Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” John 4:36

 

P.S.  But back to hair :-) it’s fun to be celebrating three years since that day I big chopped. I’ve learned more about my hair in the past three years than I have my entire life. Later today on my Facebook page and on Instagram, I’ll be posting four things my hair can’t do without.  Join me!

3 years natural (3)

believing, Bible

The Wonder of Unbelief

January 18, 2016

There’s nothing like that moment when you are stopped while reading the Bible. Those are the moments for which I pray. As much as I love the Word, my human mind might wander, hurry, or gloss over a passage I’ve read many times. So I pray for the Lord to not only keep me focused, but to laser focus me on whatever I need at that time.

A week and a half ago in the Gospel of Mark, I got this laser beam:

“And He wondered at their unbelief.” Mark 6:6

I stopped. Then once again I read the verses that came before. Jesus had been teaching in His hometown. Astonished, His listeners asked, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?” (Mark 6:2)

Seeing the extraordinary—the divine wisdom and miracles—one might think they’d be poised to follow . . . to learn more . . . to believe. After all, they knew Messiah was coming. Surely, this could be Him.

But they had other questions: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” (Mark 6:3). They dismissed the divine and, instead, reckoned Him with earthly eyes. Rather than stand in awe, “they took offense at Him” (Mark 6:3).

As a result, Jesus could not do the miracles in His own hometown which He had done throughout Israel.

And He wondered at their unbelief.

A week and a half later, those words are still with me. It’s that “wondered” that grips me. It’s not a casual “wondered.” It’s saying Jesus marveled at their unbelief. He was struck with astonishment. And I can’t help but wonder if there are areas of my life in which I am weak in faith—areas of unbelief—that cause Jesus to marvel.

And why wouldn’t He marvel? If we know Him, if we’ve placed our faith in Him for salvation, feasted on His Word, believe Him to be mighty in power, have seen Him work the miracle of transforming us from the inside . . . and yet view areas of our lives with earthly vision—would He not marvel? If we neglect to pray, thinking He won’t move on our behalf—would He not marvel? If we fear taking up our cross and following Him—would He not marvel? If we view our marriages, our prodigal children, our finances, our health, our unsaved loved ones, or any other difficult situation as impossible for Jesus to heal and transform—would He not marvel?

Yet we’re human. Life does get difficult. And we have crises of unbelief. But thankfully, we don’t have to resign ourselves to them. Rather than relegate even one tiny area to unbelief, we can take it to the Lord. That’s the beauty! He won’t “wonder” at the fact that we’ve brought it to Him. He won’t marvel, as if it’s a strange thing. He’ll lovingly welcome it.

When a father brought Jesus his demon-possessed son, the father said, “But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” (Mark 9:22) Jesus replied, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

The father’s response? “I do believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Jesus didn’t wonder at the father’s unbelief, nor chastise him for it. The father had simply acknowledged that he was human—he believed, but he needed help with the unbelief that resided within. And to that, Jesus responded, rebuking the spirit and healing his son.

What a gracious Savior! I pray that we are not harboring any areas of unbelief.  Like weeds, they can grow, spread, and choke that which is good and full of life.  May the Lord shine His holy spotlight on any such area, such that we see it for what it is, bring it to Him, and like that father, ask: Help my unbelief. I have no doubt that He will graciously respond. And in that area, we may see Him move in ways we could not have imagined.

 

grace, Spirit-led living, YouTube

My Plans for 2015—and How God Flipped Them {Plus a Video}

December 30, 2015

Plans for 2015I’ve never been big on making New Year’s resolutions. But as I think back to the beginning of 2015, I did have a few plans in mind. The first thing I thought to do was to shut down my YouTube channel. It had been a while since I’d done a video, and I was in a “less is more” mode with respect to social media.

But sometime in January, someone asked if I’d done a video on how I study the Bible. I thought that was kind of odd. “No,” I said. “Haven’t done one.”

“Would you consider doing one?”

“Actually, I doubt it,” I said, “since I’m thinking about shutting down my channel.” Also, I wasn’t sure what tips I’d give in such a video. So, um, no.

A couple of weeks later, another person asked the same question. Okay, Lord, what are you saying? I was soon recording the video, then another on how I memorize books of the Bible, then another . . . My plan for YouTube was superseded by God’s plan.

Also at the start of the year, I had a writing plan. My fiction contract with Thomas Nelson hadn’t been renewed, and a fiction proposal hadn’t gotten picked up by any other publishers. So I’d write a novel and publish it myself. I was excited about this, about being my own publisher, controlling the content and the process.

Then in March, my agent emailed me. He’d seen the YouTube videos I had recently put out. He felt my voice was stronger for writing nonfiction than fiction. Would I consider working on a nonfiction proposal for him to send out?

Uh, no. That was my first thought. True, my heart had always been to write nonfiction. Fiction was the surprise. But I’d just gone through the process of having a proposal reviewed and rejected. No, thank you. I’m good in my fiction self-publishing lane, the one I can control.

But how could I not pray about it? I did, and soon, an idea for a nonfiction book was on my heart, and words to a proposal. I had to write it, and I had to have faith that God was at work. After all, He was the one who had moved me to do the YouTube videos, which moved my agent to email me.

After several months of waiting, I received a contract from Discovery House Publishers, and I’m beyond excited to partner with them as I write a book slated to release in 2017. My writing plan was superseded by God’s plan.

And then there was this blog. I had big plans for blogging regularly, even took an online blog course in the spring so I’d be motivated to step it up. I did blog throughout this year, but nowhere near what I’d envisioned. Instead, in early summer, I was asked to write for Desiring God. I’m giving more time and attention to writing posts—on a different blog. My blog plan was superseded by God’s plan.

And who could have imagined Periscope?

As we close out 2015 and look to 2016, this verse is on my heart:

“The mind of man plans his way,

But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

What a blessing, that our God will lead and direct us in His will—even despite our plans and inclinations to go a different way.  What are you planning?  Will you allow God to direct, and even re-direct you, if need be?

Something else has been on my heart as we close out the year. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a New Year’s resolution. But I have a resolve to do this one thing. Once you watch the video, I’d love to hear whether you share my resolve.

Wishing you every special blessing as the Lord directs your steps in 2016!

Happy New Year!

 

grace, love, rejection, suffering

Rejected by Friends, Loved by Jesus

December 28, 2015

full_rejected-by-friends-but-loved-by-jesusAs 2015 draws to a close, we might take stock of the year’s accomplishments and assess the outcome of desired goals. We look back at notable highlights and milestones celebrated. But the year-end survey might also reveal difficulties in relationships — that close friend who distanced herself, the extended family member who excluded you, your old school buddy who unfriended you, or a coworker or neighbor with whom you can’t seem to connect.

Strained relationships are hard no matter the reason. But when the underlying cause is Christ, there is a unique dynamic, one that may be rife with pain, yet abounding in blessing.

Peace on Earth?

Every year around this time, we hear “peace on earth” in connection with Jesus’ birth. The message resonates, as we all long for peace, including peace in our relationships. But the heavenly host’s proclamation had a qualification: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14). By God’s grace, believers have peace with God through Christ and an abiding peace within. But peace across the board in our relationships is not promised.

In fact, Jesus let us know that the opposite would be true. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). It is telling that when Jesus shed light on his statement, he spoke of intimate, familial relationships. Father and son, mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, members of one’s household — they would be set against one another because of Christ.

It’s a truth of kingdom life — Christ divides. Believing Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, being unashamed of the gospel, holding firm to eternal truth will cost us. Taking up our cross and following him puts us at odds with the world, and in our relationships in the world.

Thankfully, in his goodness and grace, Jesus told us what to expect. We shouldn’t be shocked that our devotion to him has cost us. And yet, the pain can be very real.

Continue reading over at desiringGod . . .

grace, salt-n-light, witness

Modesty Lets Our Light Shine

December 10, 2015

full_modesty-lets-our-light-shine

Last Saturday evening, Ayesha Curry, wife of NBA star Stephen Curry, was flipping through a Style Weekly and shared her observations with Twitter:

Those thoughts sparked a Twitter debate on the virtues — or lack thereof — of showing off one’s figure with bare clothing. One reply asked, “What’s wrong with not being covered up?” With one tweet, Ayesha Curry, a professed believer in Jesus Christ, injected modesty — and salt and light — into the social stream.

Modest Clothing Is a Witness

It’s doubtful that anyone was shocked by Ayesha’s observation. Immodesty is commonplace and our cultural sensibilities have shifted somewhat rapidly. There was a time when bikini-clad women in thirty-second commercials were a phenomenon. Now we hardly blink as not only commercials, but Facebook and Instagram feeds, fill with “bare” apparel. Hardly anything shocks the conscience, except maybe a woman who holds to a godly standard of modesty.

Continue reading over at Desiring God . . .

 

grace, killing sin, temptation, YouTube

How to Kill Jealousy

November 12, 2015

File Nov 12, 9 33 48 PM

 

It’s a subject we don’t often talk about, let alone confess. But “jealousy” is the theme this week in our Periscope group—#PeriSistersinChrist—which means it’s also been the subject of my morning #devoscope . . . and I’ve been blessed and blown away by what the women have shared on the subject. We’ve explored the multitude of ways jealousy rears its ugly head, and what needs to happen when it does.

We need to kill it.

It’s hard to escape at least the temptation toward jealousy. As we deal with that ongoing battle of flesh versus Spirit (Galatians 5:17), I pray you find this video helpful.

P.S. To join the live broadcast in the morning, you can tune in at 9 am CST; 10 am EST here: https://www.periscope.tv/kimcashtate. To interact on the broadcast, you can download the Periscope app, follow me @kimcashtate, and watch/comment from your phone. The replay of all #devoscopes can be found here.

grace, love, marriage

Three Ways to Love Your Imperfect Husband

November 3, 2015

full_three-ways-to-love-your-imperfect-husband

Sometimes it seems we could fulfill our biblical role as wives a lot easier if our husbands would simply do what they are called to do. If they would cultivate a stronger prayer life, we would feel better about following their lead. If they were growing through regular study of Scripture, we would be honored to submit. If they loved us as Christ loved the church, we would shower them with respect.

But our calling doesn’t hinge upon how faithfully our husbands are walking out theirs. We stand before the Lord alone, and we do all as unto him. And the reality is that it’s easier to see where someone else is lacking — especially when that someone lives under the same roof, with habits and idiosyncrasies we’ve dissected for years. We can become nit-picky and critical about where they need to be and miss the myriad shortcomings we possess ourselves.

Still, it is a very real issue if our husbands are not cultivating spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible study. And if love is lacking, it’s downright heartbreaking. How do we set aside our own hurt and frustration and live out our calling as Christian wives? How do we follow a shepherd who is not adequately shepherding? Here are three ways to love your imperfect husband.

Continue reading over at Desiring God. . .