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Sunday, 30 October 2016

YOU CAN STILL BE A PROVERBS 31 WOMAN


I know that we women who suffer from chronic illness and pain often fret because we want with all our hearts to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. Yet no matter how hard we try, we feel we cannot be like her. We then either give up completely, or sink into a deep depression… Sometimes we are far too hard on ourselves, even demanding more of ourselves than God does. After all, He understands us- He knows our frame and remembers we are but dust.

Another thing that we tend to do is to take man’s standard of being a good wife, mother and homemaker and we, on finding we cannot keep up with our healthier Sisters, wilt under the strain. This is a shame because Jesus says to come to Him all who are weary and He will give us rest. His yoke is light. But the perfectionism of man isn’t. Wouldn’t it be sad for us to constantly feel false guilt because we can’t keep up our homes like Martha Stewart? But here is some good news: we may very well find out after looking into the scriptures that we are closer to being a Proverbs 31 woman than we think….

Firstly, we must remember that the Word of God is the first and last authority in our lives. What exactly does God say about the godly woman? In Proverbs 31:10-31 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies… Is your heart yearning to be a virtuous woman? Are you seeking to serve God despite your pain? If you are, then your price is far above rubies!

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil Do you seek to be a blessing to your husband? Can he trust you with his heart, his dreams and fears, raising his children and keeping his home to the best of your ability? Then your husband will be blessed for you already have his trust. That too is a truly precious thing!

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life… Do you try to be a help meet for him? Are you consistently thinking the best of him, serving him in love and trying to be as unselfish as you can be, even in your worst times of illness or pain? If so, you are emulating that seemingly elusive Proverbs 31 woman!

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands… When you are feeling reasonably well, do you try to do something creative that will benefit your family? Do you work willingly even though it hurts? Willingness is a matter of heart, not productivity. If you work willingly no matter how small the job, you have the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman!

She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar... This one can be a toughie, especially with illness at its height. But I also believe that the ill woman who seeks out coupons and directs those who are able to help with the purchasing of groceries to shop at the cheapest but best for money supermarkets, is living this verse to the best of her ability. She is like the merchant’s ships- charting their course from her bed or buying her food online!

She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens… Again, a seeming impossibility for the chronically ill woman. But again the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman is seen in not in the early rising per se but in the planning of the godly woman as she directs her helpers in conducting the running of the home. She or someone else must have a plan of action and I take that as giving meat and portions to her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard… There is nothing to stop an ill woman having a say in business matters or running a home business from her sick bed if at all possible. She may not be able to plant a vineyard with her own hands but the spirit of this wonderful woman of God can be seen in the planning, thought and effort in being business savvy, and this is her toil. She is still emulating her!

She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms… This is a tough one for those of us with chronic illness and pain. But again I see us being that woman of God in taking care of our bodies, managing our illness, seeking knowledge from medical professionals or naturopaths and making sure we do precisely what we are told to do. That includes getting rest and trying to cast our cares on the LORD so as to strengthen ourselves!

She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night... As we survey our efforts in managing our home and family, we will see that we have done well- for it is so much harder than for those of able body. We need our rest but our candle not going out at night means that we are diligent in the overseeing of our home and our eyes are ever vigilant to see just what goes on around us- even when we are taking our rest!

She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff…Whenever possible, we seek to be as diligent as possible keeping watch over our household, our children and our husband. We work as much as is humanly possible but we do not fret if we cannot honestly cope with work at any particular time. Again, I see this as a matter of heart. … The godly woman who suffers from chronic illness and pain but who seeks to serve the LORD despite her pain- is more like the Proverbs 31 woman than she could ever imagine….

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy... Kindness and compassion is a matter of heart and the heart of the giver is one of compassion. I see no reason why the chronically ill woman cannot extend her hands to the needy in special offerings or acts of kindness.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet...Again, the chronically ill woman can take comfort in knowing her family is well clothed. It is relatively easy to shop by catalogue or online through ebay. Planning and diligence in being observant to your family’s needs and sizes will pay off in knowing that they are warm and well-presented.

She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple…Again, this making of tapestries etc would depend on how severe the sufferer’s illness and pain was, but I feel that the essence of this verse is that we can still take a pride in our appearance in spite of our illness. I know sometimes this can be one of the last things on our minds, but I think it is important to ourselves and our husbands to try to keep tidy.

Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land…A husband who is well-loved will usually be willing to learn how to iron his shirt in times of his wife’s illness’s flare. If not, there are laundries that press shirts. A husband of a godly woman will never be known for an untidy and unkempt appearance. It is just harder for us as we have to be super diligent. If we can’t help our men retain honour by being well-presented, we should seek out helpers who will either volunteer or help for a small fee.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant… Again, this is often difficult for the ill woman to achieve but I believe the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman is shown in the extra planning and eye for detail in watching over her family and household. As we know, everything is more difficult and the ill woman will be ever seeking to cut corners in order to have her home run well.

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come...The chronically ill woman works harder than most for she starts her day at a disadvantage- usually lack of sleep due to pain. She has medications to take that can have disastrous side-effects such as making her sleep when she needs to be awake or nausea. But she works diligently as best she can to keep the home fires burning and the family happy. She is often the most selfless of women! She will be able to take pleasure in times to come, knowing that she did her best before God, to be His woman! She is a woman who should be honoured above all others, in life and in the one to come!

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness...I believe the godly chronically ill woman who reads the Word and keeps close to the LORD will open her mouth with wisdom, she will speak with kindness despite feeling unwell, for the LORD Himself will strengthen her spiritually.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness... Even though the chronically ill Christian woman may be bedridden, she can still look well to the ways of her household. By being attentive and delegating responsibilities wherever possible, she will never eat the bread of idleness. Being bedridden does not necessarily mean that one is idle. Indeed, running a home from your sick bed is a feat that surpasses the strength and vigilance of healthier stronger women!

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her… As children grow and your husband sees your efforts and realises the sacrifices that you have made- and the extra pain it has caused to ensure their upbringing is well done and that they are all comfortable and well looked after, they will bless and praise you. You are such a blessing to them!

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all, favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD she shall be praised.… Indeed, many women will have done virtuously, but you have put it in harder than most- you surely you do excel them all! When many would just crumble, you have kept striving to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates...You see, you will have the fruit of hands and your own works will praise you in the gates- because despite all obstacles, you have run the race and won- for you really *are* a Proverbs 31 woman!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Thursday, 27 October 2016

AN EMBARRASSING TIME



Chris and I were invited to our friend's 60th birthday party recently. These friends are nominal Christians and known for their eccentric ways. They tend to live outside the box so to speak. We were told that it would be a low-key celebration with just this friend's friends- no family. The family celebration would be the next day. When we arrived, there were about 6 people; a married couple, a couple living together and a stylish-looking woman in her late 50's with a pixie-faced lean as a reed man about 45 in blue jeans with cowboy buckle, boots and grey cropped hair.

Introductions were going well when we suddenly were stopped in our tracks. Stylish Lady introduced herself and asked if we had met her "wife" yet? Suddenly it became apparent that Lean Man was in fact Lean Lady! We said the usual hellos and Chris turned his attention to the married couple at his side. The wife was obviously feeling uncomfortable by the same-sex couple and she wouldn't even look in their direction! The couple who were living together were obviously friends of Stylish Lady and Lean Lady, and had no qualms about their relationship. They were talking quite happily and I must admit I was sitting opposite them at a loss to know how to react to them. I was in a dilemma.

The Bible condemns homosexuality and I do not care for it myself- but I did not want to ignore the couple completely. I sat there eating nibblies and silently praying for guidance. What would Jesus do here? I wondered. He sat amongst sinners and didn't ignore them, and Christ died for all men- and women. But then the gross immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah's lust for unnatural flesh reached the LORD'S nostrils and brought about its downfall. What to do? How could I reach out to them without feeling a hypocrite or worse still, ignore them and confirm to them that all Christians are judgEmental? They knew that I was a Christian and they took great pains in their conversation to state that they were humanists.

So I decided just to sit and listen to them and try to find some common ground that we could agree on. Finally there was an opening in the discussion of Pay Pal and ebay. I found the women to be extremely intelligent and interesting. During the conversation my website was brought up because of issues with Pay Pal. They expressed some interest in it when I said it was a site for personalised verse. They expressed a desire to have a commitment ceremony written for them by myself, and I was at a loss to say no without being seen as judgemental. It was a terribly embarrassing moment!

I mentioned the fact that I always have Scripture in my verses and they said that they wouldn't like that. They offered me the name of a lesbian site where there were Christian girls who would love to have a commitment ceremony written for them which included the LORD! They said there would be a lot of business through this site. I thanked them but can not bring myself to go to such a site.

I don't want to be like a Pharisee, but I don't want to make money from people living a life-style that is forbidden in Scripture. I don't hate the women but I was extremely uncomfortable when they were kissing each other at the table and Stylish Lady was patting Lean Lady on the knee. But then, I would be similarly embarrassed by a straight couple kissing like that in public. So I concentrated my attention on the other married couple who were clearly embarrassed by the lesbian couple. I trust that by talking to these women on a mutual level about matters other than their life-style, that I didn't come across as judgemental- but to be honest with you, I am.

I think it will be a long time before I can fully understand this type of relationship, if ever. I will never be able to accept it. I wonder too if the humanistic beliefs of these women is because they are inwardly running from God because they know that their relationship is inherently unnatural and sinful? It is for God to judge them, but all I can say is that I had a most uncomfortable evening- and the discomfort was from my own reaction, disgust, and fear of being a Pharisee as much as watching these two women relate to each other in a passionate way in front of us.

Days later, I can think of many things I could have said, but on this occasion, I had to think on my feet! One thing for sure though- no matter how I reacted and how I was perceived, it was a very embarrassing birthday party- and one I will never forget!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.. 1 Corinthians 6:9

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

FUNDAMENTALLY HIS


Lately we hear the word ' fundamentalist' being spoken of in a negative light. These days, a fundamentalist Christian is spoken of in almost the same light as a fundamentalist Muslim. In both cases, the adjective is steeped in negativity, suspicion and hatred. We Christians are lumped beside fundamentalists such as the Taliban and nothing could be further from the truth in what we so passionately believe and stand for! So what is a fundamentalist Christian?

To my mind, a fundamentalist Christian is one who believes in the fundamental premise of Christianity: that the Word of God is THE WORD OF GOD. He or she bases all relevant experiences and lifes' walk based on the fundamental belief that if God said it, then that is how it is... or how it came to pass.

I believe in creationism, the seven day creation of the world, the Flood, the virgin birth, the deity and sinlessness of Christ, His atoning and sacrificial death, His resurrection, the supernatural life in the Spirit, and the need for regeneration of our sinful life through repentance and Gods' grace and the Blood of Christ. Fundamentally there is no other way to be saved except through Christ.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

I believe that God has given us His Word to show us how to live righteously and well in this present day and that He Who began a good work in us will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus. I believe it is fundamentally essential to being a Christian. My whole life is based on fundamental ideas which are far removed from the fundamentalism spoken of with fear and hatred.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

The fundamentals of Christian fundamentalism are based on the fruits of the Spirit against which there is no Law. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Because God said that He is Love and the Life and the Truth and the Way, and because I believe that with all my heart, mind and soul, I am proud to be a fundamentalist Christian!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Christians are a peculiar people because we are set apart from the world, and we will evoke a certain amount of fear and suspicion in some of the unsaved. This is because they don't understand the fundamentals of our faith. If they did, they could only hasten to become our brethren in Christ and pray that there were more fundamental believers...

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:14

But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9

In this current time of fear of where mankind is heading and world events, I find that my fundamental beliefs shield me.  God says we are not to fear, that He has us in His Hand.  That is good enough for me. I just don't pick and choose scriptures, but I believe them all....

Study the Word, believe God and know the reason for the hope that is within you. In times like these with false prophesies about the world ending soon and all other manner of fear mongering, I am glad that I am fundamentally His...

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

ALLOWING GOD TO CARE FOR US




When I was studying psychology, I was required to read M Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Travelled.” It was a secular book but I will always remember the opening sentence which said something like, “Life is painful. When you accept that, then you can start living in joy!” It was a sentence that says it all I believe. Life is a struggle. Even life as a Christian. If we deny the pain or not try to cast it on God, we can miss great lessons from the Master. I know in my life some of the darkest and longest trials have served to make me a stronger person. I can identify with another’s pain and therefore I pray with feeling, with compassion and with understanding. I learn how to pray for help from the LORD and I can see His Hand at work in my life and the life of others after the event, if not during.

Learning to cast your cares on God is often a slow practice and it comes from years of relinquishing control of your life and realising that only God can control an outcome that is causing us concern or pain. It results in the peace of trusting Him to act out His perfect Will in our lives and then learning to accept it. It is at times extremely difficult to put into practice. This relinquishing of control and learning to trust God to know what is best in my circumstances and to trust Him to do it for me has taken years. But after reflecting on the outcomes of many difficult circumstances and trials where I could not see or feel God’s presence or leading, I have come to the conclusion that He has worked all things out for my own good.

One way that helped me to realise that God had indeed answered my prayers or delivered me safely through a trial or grief was to keep a prayer journal. I wrote everything down. Every prayer, every fear. And I recorded all events. Over the years, a pattern of God’s faithfulness and deliverance was seen. This encouraged me immensely and helped me trust Him more as further trials overtook me- trials of health, marriage problems, financial problems and problems with my children. We have to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. God loves us too much to allow us to walk a boring path of constantly granted wishes with no challenges or hardship! It is only through the path of faith in life with all its attendant worries and challenges that true strength and faith in God can be found.

It is imperative that we purposefully and deliberately relinquish trying to control our life and put our faith in God by praying in earnest supplication – and then to leave God to work it out! It takes courage, humility and strength. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of time to be able to actually get to the point where you can pray and give it to the Father to oversee. But really, what other choice do we have? If we say we believe in God’s goodness and love for us but don’t trust Him in our trials, how can we be true to ourselves or Him? How can we know the wonder of feeling God’s hedge of protection around us, His mighty Love enveloping us during trials or feel the same love and awe at His depth of compassion towards us- if we don’t put our money where our mouth is? Or in this case, our faith where our mouth is! .

No trial is joyous at the time- but the benefits of facing up to them and running to the LORD with them far outweigh the negatives. For by denying God the time to work in our lives, and to not lay our problems and cares before Him, we are actually denying Him the ability to bring beauty out of ashes. What have we got to lose? We have so much to gain! He has been our King of Glory: let Him be our Prince of Peace!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' Isaiah 41:13

Monday, 24 October 2016

IT'S BETWEEN YOU AND GOD!



With the coming of my illnesses which include polymyalgia/fibromyalgia brain fog and chronic fatigue, coupled with enormous amounts of medication I need to take for my heart complaints and other woes, quiet time for me is not in the morning any more. My quiet time is during the day when my mind is more alert and the pain in my body settles down to a dull roar.

I simply can't take much in first thing in the morning. So for me quiet times must be fitted in so that I can understand what I read and so that I can pray in some semblance of sense.  I know that God understands what I am praying about, but I find it vaguely uncomfortable emotionally to not be able to pray coherently.

Because we are all different and our relationship with God is individual, you too will have to find what works best for your own quiet time with the LORD.  Just because an early morning works for most, perhaps you will find as I do that some other time in the day works better for you.  So even if someone suggests early morning, adapt it for your own needs... after all, the important thing is that you do find time to be alone with God....

Remember, it's not about a schedule. It's not about spending a particular number of minutes or hours. So don't give in to false guilt because you can't spend an hour at prayer and bible study early in the morning. Or any other time for that matter..  

Time with Him is about desiring God and pleasing Him. And coming from that place, hopefully you will feel somewhat refreshed and encouraged in the LORD. 

And whatever time that happens, is between God and you.


© Glenys Robyn Hicks

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 5:3

Sunday, 23 October 2016

I AM A WIFE!


I think there is a time in everyone's life where they look at their achievements, failures and progress and wonder just where they stand in the scheme of things.

Recently when feeling tired from moving and recovering from a bad bout of pneumonia, I felt that I hadn't done much with my life. I had just celebrated my 63rd birthday and knowing that I was closer to 65 than 55, I found myself feeling despondent. It comes with the territory of being almost through menopause and getting over a debilitating illness, I guess...

Chris and I were in bed talking and I mentioned this to him. He was aghast when I told him that I felt that I was nothing much to my children, that I have never done most of the things I dreamed of doing when I was much younger and healthier. Life hadn't really turned out the way I thought it would at nearly 64 years of age.

Taking me in his arms with the lamplight shining on his glistening eyes, he told me that I was very special to him. He told me that in his opinion, I was a wonderful mother to mine and his children, and that it was their choice if they didn't appreciate me.

I told him that most of my plans for my life hadn't eventuated and I now had no future to be excited about.... and then I was floored with the truth.... Chris told me that I was exactly where God intended me to be, and that I was worth far more than what my tired mind and body told me. He told me that my future was unfolding as it should and he was glad that I was there beside him. I said is that all to my life..

His answer was, "You are my wife!"

.... A wife... Something I had wanted to be since I was a child.... Someone held in great esteem by a loving man... A woman cloaked in the Love of a man proud to be called Husband... A woman pleased to help her man in any way.... Forever....

What a future! What worth! I praise the LORD for making me a wife.....  marriage is honourable in all, and it is all I need to be!



© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4

Saturday, 22 October 2016

SCRIPTURES IN DEFENCE OF STAY AT HOME MOTHERS



In Titus 2:3-5 the apostle Paul charges the older women in the church to teach the younger women “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” The instruction for women to be “keepers at home” generally has been understood by the church as teaching that the sphere of a married woman’s work is her home. This understanding is reflected by the Puritan commentator Matthew Poole, who interpreted the phrase to mean: “housewives, not spending their time gadding abroad, but in looking to the affairs of their own families.” ([1]) The Christian woman as a housewife, looking diligently to the affairs of her family, was the standard in Puritan New England:

In seventeenth century New England no respectable person questioned that a woman’s place was in the home. By the laws of Massachusetts as by those of England a married woman could hold no property of her own. When she became a wife, she gave up everything to her husband and devoted herself exclusively to managing his household. Henceforth her duty was to “keep at home, educating her children, keeping and improving what is got by the industry of the man.”([2])

However, this view went beyond the Puritans and was the perspective of all branches of the church and a central aspect of Western Christian culture. For example, Lenski, the eminent Lutheran commentator, stated that the phrase “keepers at home” indicates domestic responsibility and that the home is the place of a married woman’s work; she is a “housekeeper” who dispenses “all good things in this domain.” ([3])

Nonetheless, in accord with the spirit of our age that looks in disdain upon the notion that the sphere of a married woman’s work is her home, many in the church have rejected the earlier consensus understanding of “keepers at home.” Instead, to be “keepers at home” is interpreted to mean that a wife and mother is “to be busy at home” (NIV), i.e., she “should not be idle or derelict in fulfilling home duties.” ([4]) In other words, “keepers at home” does not define the married woman’s calling or the sphere of her work, but is simply an admonition not to neglect her domestic duties. Therefore, a wife and mother may pursue a career outside of the home — as a lawyer, teacher, sales clerk, etc. — as long as she fulfills her responsibilities in the home.

The difference between the traditional interpretation of “keepers at home” and the modern version is considerable. While the traditional interpretation established the home as the sphere of a married woman’s work and calling, the modern understanding says that the term does nothing of the kind. While the traditional interpretation defined a married woman’s “career” as homemaking, the modern view teaches that a married woman may pursue a career outside of the home as long as she does not neglect homemaking. While the traditional interpretation calls the woman to focus her energy, time, and talents in the home in the service of her family, the modern view says that she is not so “restricted” and may go outside the home for her employment. Which is the correct understanding? It is our belief that the traditional interpretation is the correct one. We base this opinion on the meaning of the Greek word translated “keepers at home,” and on the wider Biblical teaching on the roles of the wife and mother.

The Meaning of “Keepers at Home”

The Greek word translated “keepers at home” is oikourous. This word is derived from two Greek words. The first, oikos, means a house, a dwelling, or, by metonymy, a household or family. The second, ouros, refers to a keeper, watcher or guardian, i.e., one who has the oversight and responsibility for something. Thus, the basic significance of oikourous is that of a “housekeeper,” that is, one who watches over a household and family, seeing to it that all members are cared for, and all things maintained in good order. Oikourous is used only in the New Testament in Titus 2:5; therefore, in seeking to accurately discern its meaning we must look to the Greek literature of the New Testament era. There, the word oikourous meant watching or keeping the house. It was employed in reference to a watchdog and to a rooster, but more germane to the context of Titus 2:5, oikourous also meant keeping at home, and was employed as a substantive, “housekeeper,” to indicate the mistress of the house. Furthermore, it was specifically used in praise of a good wife. Interestingly, oikourous is utilized contemptuously of a man who refused to go out to war, designating him a “stay-at-home” man. ([5])

The verbal form, oikoureo, meant to watch or keep the house. It was used of women to indicate those who were at home to watch over the affairs of a household, and of men to designate those who stayed at home to avoid military service. ([6]) Other closely related words such as 1) oikourema, meant keeping the house and staying at home, and was used to refer to women as the “stay-at-homes”; 2) oikouria, referred to women as those employed in the work of housekeeping; 3) oikourios, meant the wages or rewards for the work of keeping the house, but also designated, significantly, keeping children within the doors of the house, i.e., keeping them at home. ([7])

On the basis of this word study, it is concluded that oikourous was primarily used in the positive sense to indicate both the nature and sphere of a married woman’s work. The nature of her work is to manage the affairs of her household, and the sphere of her work is the home. It is important to note that oikourous and its cognates all included the idea of staying at home. Therefore, we believe that the “keepers at home” are those who stay at home for the purpose of managing their households. Paul’s admonition is definite: Let the older women teach the younger women to remain within the sphere of their own households so that they might properly attend to their duties of caring for their family and managing its everyday affairs.

The Biblical Roles of a Wife and Mother

The fact that “keepers at home” refers to the married woman’s responsibility to stay at home to care for her family is confirmed when the Biblical teaching on the roles of a wife and mother are considered. Her role is so vital to the well-being of her husband and children, her responsibilities in keeping the home so demanding, that it would not be possible to properly fulfill them unless she devotes herself entirely to them. She cannot do what God has called her to do unless she abides at home.

God assigns three specific roles to the wife and mother. First, she is to be the helper of her husband. “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). Here is revealed the primary purpose of the woman in relation to her husband. The Hebrew word “help” (ezer) comes from two roots: the first meaning to rescue or save, and the second meaning to be strong. It indicates one who is able (has what it takes) to come to the aid of someone who is in need. Thus, God created the woman so that she would be able to come to the aid of the man and be his support and help. The word “meet” means corresponding to, suitable, or comparable to. The woman will be man’s counterpart equal to him mentally, spiritually, and physically. Note carefully that “meet” is a word of essence or nature, while “help” is a word of function. This means that in essence the woman is equal to man, but in function she is subordinate to the man — she is to assist and support him in his calling; or, her calling is to help enable him to be successful in his calling.

As Calvin states: “Now, since God assigns the woman as a help to the man, he not only prescribes to wives the rule of their vocation, to instruct them in their duty, but he also pronounces that marriage will really prove to men the best support in life. We may therefore conclude, that the order of nature implies that the woman should be the helper of man.” [8]) Other important Scriptures indicate that the woman was made for the man to be his helper, and that his success in due measure is dependent on her love and support (1 Cor. 11:7-9; Tit. 2:4; Pr. 12:4; 18:22; 31:10-12, 23).

Second, the wife is to bear and nurture the children. The bearing and raising of children is one of the central purposes of marriage (Gen. 1:28). By God’s creative design, the woman is the primary caregiver for a child; she is called and equipped by him to nurture the life and soul of a child. She was created with the marvelous capacity of conceiving and carrying life within her. After birth, she is prepared by God to nurse the child and provide the tender love and affection the child so greatly needs. In conjunction with her duty to help her husband, the wife has the great privilege and high calling to nurture the children of the marriage. The English word “nurture” is a beautiful word to describe a mother’s role. It means to nourish both body and soul. It refers to the tasks of feeding and educating a child.

The Scripture is definite in regard to the motherly responsibilities of the woman. When Paul discusses the qualifications for those widows who will receive support from the church, he gives a list of “good works” that should be present in the report concerning her. The first good work on the list is “if she has brought up children” (1 Tim. 5:10). The Greek word translated “brought up” (tropheo) is extremely important. It means not only to raise, but also carries with it the idea of personal attendance, that of being with the child to care for and to train. Furthermore, the word “brought up” indicates that the rearing takes place in the home. The noun form of “brought up,” trophia, means “brought up in the house, reared at home.” In other words, the good work of the widow in view is that she stayed at home to raise her children!

In Paul’s instructions to younger women, he admonishes them to marry and “bear children” (1 Tim. 5:14). To “bear children” means to bring them into the world, but also to nurture and train them. In another text, where Paul discusses the public ministry of the church, he says that women are not to teach but be in silence. However, he quickly points them to the place of ministry God has called them to — “childbearing” (1 Tim. 2:15). This word is a comprehensive term that comprehends all the duties of a mother — physical care, training, etc. — and could be translated as “motherhood.” Hiebert states:

“Childbearing” denotes the proper sphere in which woman finds the true fulfillment of her destiny. It speaks of the highest ideal of Christian womanhood. It brings out that which is noblest and best within her being. Paul’s thought naturally includes the training of children in a Christian home. It stands in opposition to the sphere of public teaching closed to her. ([9])

The motherly nurture of children in their physical and spiritual development is of utmost importance to the kingdom of God. The next generation of God’s servants is largely in her hands. If she is faithful in fulfilling her calling, God will highly honor her, and she shall be counted as one of the true heroes of the Faith.

Third, the wife is to manage the home. In Paul’s charge to the younger women, he exhorts them to “marry, bear children, guide the house . . .” (1 Tim. 5:14). The verb “guide” (oikodespotein) is an expressive term meaning to rule the household, to manage family affairs. It indicates that the sphere of a woman’s authority is the home (as opposed to the spheres of church and state). Furthermore, “guide” is a present infinitive indicating that managing the home is the wife’s constant occupation, her full-time job. In the Biblical description of the virtuous woman, we are told that “she looketh well to the ways of her household” (Pr. 31:27), meaning that she is a wise and diligent manager, supervising all aspects of family life. Additionally, the Scripture says that through her skill as a manager a wise woman secures the well-being of her household, while a foolish woman neglects her managerial responsibilities and her house comes to ruin (Pr. 14:1).

Thus the roles assigned to the married woman by God confirms that “keepers at home” refers to those who remain at home so that they might properly attend to their duties of caring for their family and managing its everyday affairs. When her duties are understood in all their scope and significance, it becomes clear that only by being “keepers at home” can a wife and mother fulfill her high calling from God to be a helper to her husband, a mother to her children, and a manager of her household.

What About the Virtuous Woman?

A common objection to the interpretation that to be “keepers at home” requires a married woman to confine her work, her “career,” to that of her home, is that the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 did not so confine herself. We are told that she was a “business woman” engaged in pursuits beyond the sphere of her own household, thus justifying the claim that a wife and mother is free to pursue employment and a career outside of the home. But the picture of Proverbs 31 is that of a woman managing her own household, not of a woman leaving the home for employment elsewhere. Actually, the portrayal of the virtuous woman provides strong support for the traditional interpretation of “keepers at home.” She is a wise manager of the resources her husband commits to her care (vv. 14, 16, 24). She is a true helper to her husband enabling him to rise to prominence (v. 11, 12, 23). She cares for the needs of her children and husband, assuring that they are well fed and well clothed (v. 15, 21). She sees that all their property is put to good use (v. 16). ([10]) She even engages in “cottage industry” by using any available time and strength to make fine linen and sashes to be sold to the merchants. ([r:>11])

Conclusion

May God be pleased to restore to the church the proper understanding of “keepers at home” so that the Christian family and the Christian church might once again benefit from having the wife and mother in the home filling it with her presence, love, care, and wisdom. We often speak of the home as being the foundational unit of both church and state. We often say, “As goes the family, so goes all else.” So let us give it the priority it deserves, and return the wife to her indispensable role of helping her husband, nurturing her children, and managing her household.

We know that a well-ordered home is one of life’s greatest treasures. So let us act accordingly, and return the jewel that truly makes the home a treasure. Let us obey God’s law when he commands the wife and mother to stay at home so that she can properly care for her family and manage her household. Let us give honor to “keepers at home” for to such much honor is due. Our hope for the future of the church and society rests, in large measure, with the virtuous women who are “keepers at home.”

The true sense of Proverbs 16:31 is not that she purchases real estate, but that she puts the family’s property to good use. The virtuous woman sees a field belonging to her husband that is either sitting idle or is not being used in the most profitable way. So she, literally, “takes” it (not “buys” it; see Hebrew text, and the center column reference of KJV), and sets it to good use by planting a vineyard there.

But she herself is not a merchant moving in the marketplace. She is a woman working out of her home under the authority of her husband (not some other man) to provide extra income for the family as she is able.

by William Einwechter, February 9, 2004

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1 

Friday, 21 October 2016

WHAT MORE CAN I SAY?



Over the years, I have heard a lot of false teachings, seen a lot of strange things, and read a lot of false theology.  I have been the victim of some false teachings and false accusations, and when I questioned them, I was told that I had an unteachable spirit....  I have been swept along in hyper-faith teachings, until I realised that the problem with these is that they fail to allow God to be sovereign... they promote Self over God... sound familiar?

We are called not to judge people, however, we are wise to discern first what we will accept is from God. Be wise and do what the Bereans did- check everything you hear or read against the Word. If it doesn't line up, ditch it....and if someone doesn't agree with you after checking with the Word, don't accept what they have to say- especially if they say you disagree because you have an unteachable spirit.

If you have weighed up the teaching and found it contrary to the Word, and then someone tells you that you have an unteachable spirit, it closes the door to further conversation with them. Whatever they are teaching is not scriptural and they are not open to correction. What more can I say?

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11

Thursday, 20 October 2016

MORE THAN PLEASE AND THANK YOU!




I doubt that there would be a mother amongst us who has never taught her child manners. From the time our child can grasp something held out to them we have intoned the magical words, "Say thank you!" " ta" "please" But good manners are more than please and thank you!

Good manners include holding doors open for someone, letting the other person go first, excusing oneself after emitting intestinal noises~ahem...It's saying "excuse me" and not pushing someone in the road, it's insisting that the children speak respectfully and a lot more. Manners also includes teaching children to value and respect others' property and home...

I can well remember an incident with my friends' daughters. Her elder daughter had a hair clip that belonged to her younger daughter. Now she wanted it back. This is not an unreasonable request. However, the hair clip was inside elder daughter's makeup bag which was inside her handbag, and she  was not at home. It would be a simple matter for her mother to just get the hairclip and give it to her. But to my amazement, my friend wouldn't got to the absent girl's handbag much to her sister's sorrow!

Quite fascinated, I observed this, taking mental notes. Patiently, her mother explained to that since the holder of the hairclip wasn't home, it would be best to use another hairpin. It was not up to anyone except the absent girl to go through her stuff to give it to her. The owner of the hairclip wailed and was quite upset, but her mother stood firm.

Later on, my friend explained that she was training her children to respect others' property. She didn't want her child to think it was OK to rummage through her sisters' things because she didn't want to teach her that it would be OK to rummage through *our* things! Likewise, she wouldn't let her children jump on the couch at home because she didn't want them jumping on *our* couches! I took all this on board thinking what a wise woman she was. She was sharp, and she was setting the example.

We must set the rules of behaviour in our own homes. Respect of people, respect of others' property and proper and respectful behaviour in others' homes begins in our own. It is an important task that is sometimes forgotten today in this world where children are allowed free reign at home and in others' homes.

Unruly and ill-mannered children will harm your Christian witness too. We are called to have obedient children. So for the LORD'S sake as well, it is important to give careful and faithful instruction to our children. Not only will it benefit our witness and our children and home, but us also as we find ourselves welcomed at others' homes instead of remaining uninvited because they just can't stand our kids! It's true that manners certainly are far more than just please and thank you!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER!




Lately I have had angina. I cannot walk without my walker. Coupled with a flare of polymyalgia/fibromyalgia, I have been a walking zombie.

I think that I made a grave error of judgment in not having the stents put in between two of the ones I had inserted 8 years ago. I have a narrowing of the arteries in the LAD.

Eight years ago, I had two angiograms in which both were botched and I was/am terrified of having a third. The first angiogram left me with problems in the groin where the catheter was inserted to insert the dye and stents, and the entrance to my heart was damaged. 

Experiencing worse angina after the surgery than normal, I was admitted for another angiogram and this time they thrombosed my right radial artery, resulting in no pulse in the right wrist. It was at first diagnosed as a pseudo-anuerism.  It took 7 years before a pulse was detected and it was just by God's grace that the artery reshunted to give my hand a blood supply. I am sure you can see why I am scared to submit myself to another one.

When I was deliberating on having the latest stents, I was in a dilemma. I prayed, I asked Chris and I lost sleep. Chris told me he would support me in whatever decision I made, and when I prayed I had no peace about the procedure. So I cancelled the stents.

I have statins to control my cholesterol level, nitroglycerin and Monodur for the angina, blood thinners, and Somac to prevent GORD, which previously caused me to be hospitalised with aspiration pneumonia because I aspirated stomach acid in my sleep.  

I have a husband who allows me to have home help once a fortnight, and who walks the long weary road of chronic illness with me. Most times with Christ-like graciousness.  I commented about this to him once, and he took my hand and told me we're a team for better or worse.

I don't know if I will have a heart attack, if I will end up having those stents or if my heart will continue to get progressively worse. But I rejoice in God that I am not alone, but have a loving man beside me. Like everything in life we do, we're in this together! 

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

Monday, 17 October 2016

GODLY WOMANHOOD BY PETER MARSHALL



I was greatly encouraged by this sermon. It has stood the test of time and is even more relevant today.

“Godly womanhood….the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other type of women: beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly women–or of a godly man either for that matter.
We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra modern. 
The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need woman, and men, too,who would rather be morally right than socially correct.”  
                    ~ U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall

We are the Body of Christ- His Bride... the world must see Jesus in us. We may be the only Jesus they ever see....

Blessings, Glenys


“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

Sunday, 16 October 2016

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS


She came to our Pastors' wife. Battered and worn out from years of domestic violence and abuse, she looked like a frightened and nervous child. At 34, she had seen more violence and had been on the receiving end of more blows than most people even dreamed about.

Not knowing why exactly she had come, she sought the Pastors wife out for prayer and godly advice, not really expecting anything more than an arm around her and Gods' peace- for she needed Him so desperately!

With her stomach aching and bruised in places one never sees, she told her sad tale of spousal rape, an assault that not only caused much physical damage 5 weeks after major womens' surgery, but which left her terrified of her husband. Sleeping in the bed with him was a torment that birthed nightmares and a feeling of suffocation: an aftermath of him smothering out her screams with her pillow.

What did this hurting woman receive? Certainly not compassion: my ears rang as she was told that he had his needs! After all, 5 weeks is a long time for a man! She replied that she had just had surgery. Stitches. Repairs! She was feeling dreadfully alone and condemned. Especially when she was told that there are other things you could do for him! Oh yes, but not to a cold man who disliked kissing and other displays of affection.

Choking on her tears, the frightened wife told her that she hadn't denied him, had just asked for gentleness this one time. But what followed was the worst rape and rage that she had ever known in her then 18 years of marriage.

Unable to share this in public and afraid to cast her husband in a bad light with her family, she turned to the only place where she could perhaps find her God and feel Him in her life again. A God Who watched silently while she suffered, it seemed to her.

Instead she was thrown to the lions. Shot by her own. Condemned and made to feel ashamed and guilty for the act of a sadistic man. Betrayed and humiliated, she left the Pastors' office after being further admonished to cook better, forgive and forget and to remember that he was an unbeliever thus a 'poor sinner', unable to help himself. Oh yes, and she was to smile! And with a witness like that, he would be sure to come to Christ! It was almost verbatim the advice that Debi Pearl gives in her dangerous book, Created To Be His Helpmeet. And the book hadn't even been written!

Where is this woman today? Well, fortunately, God did meet her in her darkest hour. She cooked better, prayed harder, believed for a miracle of love to be born, stayed for another 7 years and suffered from sleep deprivation and fear. She walked on egg shells but kept believing that God would change her husband.

Finally, unable to keep any food down for fear, she decided that she couldn't bear any more. She timidly approached her husband one night, and asked him to seek marriage counseling or she would be gone in the morning. His response was the same as always: he had done nothing wrong. Marriage counselling was a waste of time he said: indeed, he wouldn't know for he opted not to attend each time a session had been arranged. She told him she would be gone in the morning and he agreed, "OK, go!"

She took only the clothes on her back and her baby photos, carried in two garbage bags for she was afraid to take anything that he would come after her for. She found a church that was compassionate and loving. She divorced him. Four years later, God blessed her with a godly new husband who loves her and who allowed her to start living at the ripe old age of 45! And her children rejoiced for her!

What would this woman say to you if you are abused? She would tell you to use sound judgment and remove yourself and your children from all harm. She would say that you should give your abusive husband time to repent before initiating divorce proceedings, and that you should give God time to work in your husbands' heart.

However, she would say that if there is no change after a few years or if there is threat of him coming after you, that you should consider a divorce. Life is precious and she now knows that we serve a God Who cares deeply about what goes on with His children, even behind closed doors.

I know she would advise you not to take to heart the advice for abused wives from Debi and Michael Pearl in Created To Be His Helpmeet, but to use common sense. She also would tell you to stand strong against the stigma you *may* receive if you divorce: your divorce is a matter between you and God and is not the unpardonable sin. He knows what may go on behind closed doors!

Finally, she would tell you to not suffer in silence and risk death as she did. If you are Christians, she would tell you that domestic violence is not a sole practice of the heathen: it *can* and *does* occur in the Church.

She would be the first to put an arm around you and pray for you, admonishing you to never throw away your confidence that is in Christ: no matter where or when trouble comes, He does see and does care. God calls us to live in peace... that is what she would lovingly tell you. I know this because, that girl was me.

Yes, God hates divorce, but He also hates the violence and treachery that leads to it!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. Malachi 2:14

CREATED TO BE HIS HELPMEET: A DANGEROUS BOOK



I am a conservative, a non-feminist and submissive wife. Even though there were some good things regarding bringing women back to godly principles in marriage, I found this book very disturbing. I had been a severely abused wife for 25 years. So from the angle of an abused wife, I would like to comment and speak up for those women too afraid or unable to speak for themselves.

Chapter 2: The ugly hillbilly woman- the first and main reason she is accounted as ‘Ugly’ by Debi Pearl, is that she is overweight! As an overweight woman, that stung! I may be overweight, but my husband and family and friends have never even intimated that I am ugly! The fact that a smile can change this “worse than regular ugly!” woman is hogwash. It takes more than a smile to change a character- though a smile does indeed help. To say that the woman became unrecognizable when she was caught scowling because she was upset at her obese daughter taking candy is a bit far-fetched (unless her husband is short-sighted or dim-witted) However, I do agree that we must cultivate a happy disposition and smile. Our husbands and family need to see that.

When I first read the letter to the desperate wife whose husband was having an emotional affair with his secretary my first response was that Mrs Pearl’s advice was wrong. Then I reconsidered and thought that there was truth in the advice that if the wife stood up for her rights (and indeed she was in the right)- and fought to win her man back, then that would be the better way to approach it than to end the marriage. I have seen marriages almost ruined by affairs become stronger than ever where the wife has stood her ground. But if the marriage fails, why does Mrs Pearl attest that “if you get another husband, he will be like your old one- cast off by some other woman”? Who is she to say that with such conviction? It is not necessarily true or a given fact!

But it is so true that you cannot force or demand your husband to love you and that he cannot be pressured to love you because you are husband and wife. But why does love come into the equation in a Christian marriage? Where are commitment, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and other Christ-like attributes like forbearance, integrity and obligation to keep the marriage vows simply because God says we must?

If one person does not want to be in a marriage, it is a sad fact of life that sometimes no matter how much the spouse who wishes to remain in the marriage tries to please the errant spouse, then the one wanting out will often leave or make it impossible to stay in the marriage by becoming violent or aggressive. Then, because of hardness of heart of the errant spouse, the prayers and efforts of the faithful spouse come to naught. Why? Because we are carnal creatures at times- both men and women. God sometimes cannot soften a heart that is turned from Him because He will not violate our free will. However,I believe if you loved your husband enough, you would fight for him. Or stay in the marriage until it was impossible to remain safely in it.

We do see a bit of the “boys will be boys” mentality in this chapter, and I have to wonder if this is biased towards men being helpless creatures bewitched under the guiles of wicked women- Jezebels all. I know that men are called to account to God for their sins and being a man who can’t control his thought life and actions is not being a godly man. It does seem that the wife is to bear the burden of blame for her husband’s sin and then take it on the chin! And smile, smile, smile through her tears!

Another sore point with me is where she says,” being pitiful, hurt, discouraged and even sickly is one side of a “bad marriage” coin. Men in general (your husband in particular), are repulsed by women who project this image. A man’s spirit tells him his woman is rejecting him manipulating him when she regularly manifests a broken spirit, and he will react in anger.”

As a woman who suffers from an illness that causes chronic pain and fatigue, I am so overjoyed to report that my husband doesn’t treat me as a faulty appliance which causes him great anger, but he cherishes me and tries to alleviate my suffering on bad days by sharing in my tasks and closing an eye to that which can’t be done on any particular day. After all, we promised to love each other in sickness and in health. Isn’t that type of commitment what God wants in marriage? So this chapter got me thanking God for the blessing of a husband who puts me first when I need it. (see Sick Wives Are Despised By Their Husbands: Debi Pearl)

Chapter 4: Thanksgiving produces joy. Whilst I can see Mrs Pearl’s point about not getting upset about the trash not being taken out, I think she is a little (much?) on the immature side when she finds screaming like that funny. IMO she is mighty fortunate to have a man who can see the funny side- especially when he has not been in the habit of taking trash out for her. And then to see her struggling week after week with the trash and not help her seems really inconsiderate to me.

Also I am uncomfortable that a woman who is teaching other women to be godly wives forgets that we are to be discreet- especially when our intimate lives are involved. It is not very discreet to almost hope that the business manager comes in and then to have a scream ready to embarrass the poor man! Yes, we are to be our husband’s playmate! I agree 100% but then I agree with the Word which clearly says: ” as a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” Proverbs 11:22

To not care about the feelings of the business manager but in fact to entertain thoughts of him finding Mr and Mrs Pearl frolicking or worse yet, in flagrant delicto, is absolutely contrary to Scripture. We are not to be the cause of another person to stumble- apart from being very embarrassing to the staff, I am sure most of them would think Mr and Mrs Pearl extremely indiscreet and insensitive- lovemaking should be enjoyable, fun and PRIVATE!

Chapter 5: the gift of wisdom: In the beginning of this chapter, IMO Mrs Pearl is putting a great deal of pressure on the wife to be the prime force behind a successful marriage. If the marriage is not a heavenly one, it would seem in her opinion, that the wife is not submitting or being thankful and joyful. Whilst I agree that basically what she says is true, there are marriages where normal boundaries are overstepped and it is impossible to be thankful or joyful- for example after a beating or some other horrendously humiliating experience. Now it is extremely difficult if not impossible, to be thankful to and for the husband who is like this.

Marriage is a two-way street. A man is to love his wife as his own body- no man hates his own body but cherishes it (Ephesians 5:28) To completely negate this by saying that a wife should love and respect her husband regardless is OK- to a point. But what of the badly abused wife? It is impossible to be a loving responsive wife in the evening after that same man has bruised you physically and emotionally during the day. At best our body can be receptive, but our heart cannot join in with loving responses. The fear overrides all else.

I feel Mrs Pearl is totally unable to empathise with a wife who is badly abused and to add the pressure of maintaining or creating a “heavenly” marriage in such a case is not only impossible but invites the poor woman to break down emotionally or even doubt or lose her faith! Mrs Pearl is preaching the truth for the majority of marriages- but not for all!
As a woman nearly beaten to the point of death in my first marriage, I take great exception to this:(the abusive harsh husband)…”But he cannot victimize you unless you react outside of the wisdom of God.” This is such hogwash! When your jaw is dislocated or your ribs broken, it is a normal reaction to feel pain. Then to fear being hurt like that again. It is hopeful that the godly woman will turn to God in her pain and not feel rejected by Him. To even continue in a marriage like this takes more faith and obedience than Mrs Pearl will ever know personally.

I did as Mrs Pearl advocates: I held my tongue and didn’t strike back in anger. I tried not to feel sorry for myself and protected HIM from the consequences of his sin by not going to the law and telling my doctor lies about how my injuries came about. I understand what Mrs Pearl is saying but I also understand that there are some men walking so much in sin that it goes WAY BEYOND TRASH BAGS NOT BEING TAKEN OUT. Preaching like Mrs Pearl’s saw me come to the point of a nervous breakdown.

When you feel like God doesn’t intervene or care or if you leave your husband, that you are going to Hell, and are therefore trapped in a cycle of abuse that makes you vomit up everything you eat because of fear, then you have nowhere to go but down into the pit of Hell itself. I am adamant that God does care, and doesn’t want any wife to be treated in this way. But I realise that on the other side of the coin, there are many wives who will justify leaving their husbands for a minor infringement like not taking the trash out! So this chapter has to be read assuming that a marriage is not in the extreme range of violence against the woman.

I wasn’t going to get personal in my critique, but maybe some women reading this will identify and be helped by what I write! Balance, dear Sisters, balance and wisdom in ALL things! So this chapter to me is one where I nod and turn the page over!

I have made notes of other things both good and bad to comment on, but I now realise that in all honesty, the more I delve into this book, the more I find it disturbs me. There are too many things that Debi Pearl writes about that are not backed up by scripture and in other situations, I feel that she and Michael offer no real answer for those married to men who are habitually abusing their wives. I am not really well enough at the moment to write about each and every chapter, so I will make a blanket critique of this book by saying in my opinion,  the advice is often unrealistic and even dangerous- especially about keeping silent if you are a wife suffering from abuse.

My belief is that when a wife comes to the point of shedding blood or having bones broken by her husband then the authorities should be notified, her doctor should be consulted and treatment given and her pastor should be informed. I regret that I followed the “suffering in silence” method of dealing with my own physical abuse and almost ended up dying at my ex husband’s hands. To counsel women along the lines of silent suffering is not wise counsel and downright dangerous.

So in closing, I would say that I have changed my mind about recommending the book- I would caution all those who read it to keep in mind that husbands do indeed have no right before God or man to so damage their wife that she suffer real physical damage. Christian or not- the red line is crossed when a woman or child is hit enough to cause any damage.

We have many excellent books on Christian marriage that are equally good in bringing women back to remembering that they are helpmeets. IMO the Pearls book is not totally backed up in scripture and is therefore erroneous teaching and dangerous as well. I now would say that my findings are 90% rubbish and 10% good teaching. If you are in a marriage where you are not living in fear every waking moment, praise God! I am happy for you, however, I am speaking up for thousands of godly Christian Sisters who are not! They need your prayers and compassion badly- something that Debi and Michael Pearl seem to be lacking!

Here are some books that are by far better than CTBHH:
“The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective” by Martha Peace.

Leslie Vernick’s ‘How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong’

Gary Chapman: ‘The 5 Love Languages’ and ‘On the Marriage You Always Wanted.’

And by John Piper: ‘What is the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible.’

"The Power Of A Positive Wife” by Karol Ladd

‘Feminine Appeal: 7 Virtues of a Godly Wife’ and

‘Mother and/or Biblical Womanhood in the Home’…both written by Nancy Leigh Demoss.

Other greats include ‘Lord, Meet Me in the Laundry Room’ by Barbara Curtis as well as

‘The Mother at Home’.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11

Saturday, 15 October 2016

THE FAIRY GODMOTHER'S NOT COMING!



Wouldn’t it be nice to have a fairy godmother who waved her magic wand and transformed our homes into pristine havens that required no upkeep from us? Then we could do that which we really loved to do without feeling at all guilty. Some of us tend to live our lives sipping coffee amidst dirty laundry and dust and mess, as if we are expecting her arrival anytime- ready to bail us out of our mess at the flick of a wrist. The family is unhappy with us and we are overwhelmed with chores that have banked up. And there is more bad news- the fairy godmother’s not coming! Well, she might if we are able to afford a maid, but for the majority of us, a maid is a luxury we can’t afford. We are IT!

Over the years, I have found that I have procrastinated about housework so much that I have spent more time planning how to simplify it, organise it and pardon the pun- sanitise it, than if I had just rolled up my sleeves and got on with it. It would have been done sooner and I would have been able to enjoy my leisure time more than I did with my parrot on the shoulder telling me that the work still hadn’t been done! Wisdom through life experience and hindsight has taught me to do that which I don’t enjoy first then relax. It is almost impossible to relax when you have chores that are calling out your name!

God has called us to be domestic- to be the keepers of our home. Whilst it is important that we don’t eat the bread of idleness, I don’t think that He intends us to have no other pursuits in life other than housework. There has to be a balance. The woman who alphabetises her spices and has cupboards that are washed out every week is as unbalanced as the woman who can’t find a clean shirt for her husband or a clean cup to drink from.

I believe the Christian woman has to ensure that her home is clean, her family’s clothes are washed and ironed and that meals are on time and nutritious. She doesn’t have to fret that her home is not like Home Beautiful- but her home should be welcoming to her friends and nurturing to her family. That’s what Home is all about.

If the home is reasonably clean and her husband is contented and her children happy, then I feel that is all that is required of her. It takes effort, discipline and diligence to see that these things are attended to, and it is the wife’s task, for she is Keeper of The Home.

The Christian wife sets the temper of the home and it is her godly responsibility to be domestic. It is her calling and hers alone- she must look after her home with or without help and sick or not, for unfortunately, the fairy godmother’s not coming!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10

Friday, 14 October 2016

GOD'S PLAN FOR US IS AMAZING!


As you probably know, I write for some Christian Sites as well as my blog, and I have been amazed at the way it has shown me that God's plan for our lives is the right one. His ways are always right.

I have always sought to live my life according to God's Word, and I have tried to encourage other Christian women in their walk. Over the fifteen years that I have written of God's wonderful plan for us as wives, mothers and homemakers, I have been impressed with how the 5 areas of priority in our lives overlap so much that at times I have had to categorise them by adding all the 5 areas to each post. Let me explain.

Just a quick recap of the five areas of service for the Christian woman and wife in order of priority:
  • God

  • Husband

  • Children

  • Home

  • Church
We must serve God and have Him first in our life. "He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Micah 6:8

Because everything is spiritual in our life, I have discovered that when we serve our husbands, we are serving Christ. " Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as is fit in the Lord " Colossians 3:18 "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy" 1 Corinthians 7:14

When we look after our home, we are serving God, our husband and our children. "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully." 1 Timothy 5:14

Serving in church or serving in God's Name is important but should not come before all the other 4 priorities are in order. (widows) " well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work" 1 Timothy 5:10

I have found that often I cannot place a post under just one category because it is so closely correlated to the other categories of service. This is because everything in our lives is spiritual. When we consider the umbrella of God's protection as well, we can see that God's plan for our lives is amazing. We have everything here to guide us as wives, mothers and homemakers. We can be sure that we are living our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and in keeping with His Word. 

It is not only comforting to know that God's Word guides us in our daily living, but it is also amazing that we can know with a certainty that God not only approves of us being wives, mothers and homemakers, but that He calls most of us to be that! 

If God has called us to be a wife with all that entails, then let us rejoice in His plan for our life. In doing so, we can be partners with God in His greatest creation: people who will love Him and live for eternity with Him! And we will live an abundant life full of blessings as Christ has promised.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks
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