Lessons Learned…And Still Learning!

October 7, 2008 at 7:36 pm (A Slice of Life, Attitudes, God's Will, Godly Living, Homemaking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

As many of you have probably noticed, I have taken a break from blogging for, well, nearly a month now!  I’m sorry that I pulled away while in the middle of the series on situational modesty-I didn’t want to quit after dealing with only one situation!  I didn’t want to leave our readers hanging!

That said, I do not regret the decision to stop writing for a while.  My life had become rather disorderly and discouraging because of some wrong thinking and wrong actions that I had allowed to creep in.  So after talking with Nathaniel about my need for focusing on the basics, he agreed that I should put down the pen and take care of my top priorities.

And really, that’s what this has been all about-priorities.  God has created me and saved me to be first and foremost His daughter, His maidservant, His worshiper.  And He has given me in marriage to my husband Nathaniel, to be his wife, his helper, his home-maker.  My job, my career as it were, is to serve my God by serving my husband.  It’s incredible the way even good things can turn into major distractions when we set them up as more important than simple obedience to what God has clearly commanded in His word.  And such has been the case with writing for this blog.  I had begun to view it as my job, and I approached it in a professional manner, seeking to do my best, meet deadlines, etc.  And with the same mentality as the modern feminist, I eagerly threw myself into the task, the “ministry”, and allowed that to become more important to me than my wifely duties.

Having something else-something more visible to the rest of the world-made me feel important.  When people asked what I do, I could now say that I’m more than just a housewife-I’m a writer, too!  But why do I want more?  Why is serving God and my husband not enough?  Because I was seeking the praise of man, and I was allowing humanistic, feminist ideas to influence both my thinking and my actions!

It played out something like this:

Week one: I love being at home serving my husband.  I’m so glad that he supports me in staying home and not having a career-it’s such a blessing to be able to focus on serving God in our home.  With that in mind, Nathaniel has encouraged me in my decision to start a blog with Abigail-we really want to share a vision for biblical womanhood with young ladies, challenging them to obey what God has commanded us as women.  It’ll be a good outlet for my many ideas and writing.  God has done so much in my life to conform me to what He desires, and it has brought great blessing!  I want to share this with others.

Week two: Blogging is going well, we’re growing; it’s fun and challenging.  Spent too much time online reading and commenting on other blogs…I’ve neglected the laundry for a few days…I really need to get that done!  All in all, though, I’m managing things pretty well.

Week three: God seems to really be using our blog to encourage other girls in their walk with Christ!  There’s so much I want to write about!  I think I’ll write a series on situational modesty!  And I need to set deadlines…be really professional about this…other bloggers seem to be doing well by doing this or that…I think I’ll try that.  Might take a little more time, but the more people know about our blog, the more God can reach with our message about biblical womanhood!

Week four: Got up and saw Nathaniel off to work.  Then logged on to the computer.  I’ve got a lot to do today, and I wanted to get going on my writing.  Oh, dear.  I ended up spending three hours in front of the computer-writing and surfing blogs.  I’m such an information junkie.  Sigh…end of the day, what have I gotten done…whoa, I hardly got anything done that I intended to do.  And…well, I guess I’ll read a Psalm before I go to bed.

Week five: Three articles into the series on situational modesty.  It’s really been a blessing to see how ladies have responded-kinda calmed my fears that I’d be stepping on people’s toes.  My morning Bible study has been anything but consistent lately…and usually I end up reading God’s word for my writing more than to spend time with him…that’s not quite best, but at least I’m in the word each day!  I think I’ll go to the coffee shop to write and study…I feel more professional there than at home.

Week six: UGG…I do NOT want to write this next article.  The swimsuit thing was a lot of work, and people seemed to appreciate it…but this next article might really stir things up…I am dreading writing it!  Sigh…and there’s so much piled up here around the house…and I’ve been so emotional lately-it’s like I’m driven by my emotions.  What’s up with that?

Week seven: Ok, this article is not writing itself, so I’d better get started on it.  I’ll do an outline.  There, my notes are done.  Wow, that’s a lot to cover.  Oh, I want to write it now, but there is a huge stack of dishes to be washed!  Good grief!  I wish those dishes would just do themselves!  This takes so long.  How am I supposed to keep up with a decent writing schedule when it takes so long to keep up with things around the house?  And I just have to do it all over again the next day?!?!  I’m a writer, why should I have to deal with this stuff?  I’ll just get Nathaniel to help me clean up this evening…

Breaking point: Wow, I used to love serving and cleaning and organizing.  I love being at home, and I love being a home-maker for my husband.  So why have I not enjoyed it lately?  Gasp!  I’ve placed other things above the things that are most important!  I’m just like the career-minded woman-even though I’m not getting paid and I’m not even leaving my home, I have sought to escape my most basic responsibilities, neglecting them to pursue something else!  If I have as my highest daily priority something other than worshiping the Lord and serving my husband, if I am more eager to do that new priority than the other two, then I have 1) created an idol, 2) begun to embrace the feminist mindset that values personal fulfillment and achievement more than God and family, and 3) I’ve robbed myself of any joy in doing what I have been called to do, because I have come to see something else as a higher calling.

The major indicator of this problem that became most evident to my dear husband was my attitude of discontentment.  I simply wasn’t happy and couldn’t figure out why.  I would talk to Nathaniel about how I felt, and he gently and wisely alerted me to what I was saying-I wasn’t content.  I was looking for the things around me to be just right in order for me to be able to function, to be disciplined, to be happy.  Instead of being satisfied in my Savior, and thankful for all He’s done for me and given me, and instead of thriving where He’s planted me, I had neglected to give thanks, neglected to stay put, and I sought affirmation from other people and comfort from doing whatever I felt like doing at the moment.  Living to please yourself really is the short cut to emptiness.

And when I’m empty I have nothing to give to others.  I cannot teach others to do what I am not doing.  I cannot spiritually encourage others when I am downtrodden.  I cannot serve my husband to the best of my ability when I’m worried about serving my readers (most of whom I’ve never even met).  I cannot glorify God in my writing if I am not glorifying God in my daily life!

Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can fall into wrong thinking and allow everything to be turned on its head?  Isn’t it amazing how quickly we can allow something like “ministry” to get in the way of what God really wants us to be doing?  This was hard to take in once I realized what I’d been doing.  In brokenness I confessed my wrong thinking and wrong priorities and attitudes to my husband, and expressed to him what I saw to be a very clear solution (or part of the solution):  pull away from blogging.

If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it far from you…Let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us…All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable…All things are lawful, but I will not be mastered by anything.  Scripture is clear.  I knew what I had to do.  I had to cut out the idol-and for an undetermined amount of time.  And this was best anyway, since I didn’t have anything to offer-no wonder I dreaded writing my next article!  I was running on empty!

I’ve had a lot to learn in the area of personal discipline over the past several weeks-my unwarranted loyalty to blogging was only the most obvious problem.  It seemed that everything was in disarray when I finally hit my breaking point.  And now things are looking up, so I’m slowly getting back to writing, though now with a new focus.  I’d like to share more of what I’ve learned in my “time off” in future posts, but I think what I’ve written here will suffice to bring you up to speed for now.  Just please learn from my mistakes.  Don’t allow ANYTHING to get in the way of simple, joyful obedience to the things God has clearly called you to in His word.

May we keep in mind lessons learned, and may we continue learning to please the Lord in everything we think, say, and do!  Grace and peace!

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18 Comments

  1. Ana Marie Ort said,

    Wow, Lauren. Thanks for speaking so straightforwardly in this post. I needed to read this.

  2. Samalah said,

    Thank you for a timely reminder! It is so true that if we allow anything to get between us and our first priority (the Lord) contentment will NOT follow! I need to remember this!

  3. Marcia said,

    Don’t allow ANYTHING to get in the way of simple, joyful obedience to the things God has clearly called you to in His word.

    So hard, yet so important.

  4. Corinne said,

    I think what you said is so easy for all of us to fall into. We all have duty in our households, and it is so easy to put our duties in our house behind what we are doing to help others. And what we are doing outside of the house might be great and wonderful and helping others, but if we are not completing the tasks at home to the best of our abilities, then we are failing what comes first-our on homes.
    Thank you for reminding me, that my family comes first, it is something that I need to step back and remind mysef of often.

  5. bekapaige said,

    There is nothing more important than serving God first and foremost– but oh, how easy that is for us (or at least for me) to forget!

    I would caution you against some of the phrases you’ve used in this above post though– for example, ” I’m just like the career-minded woman.” Why? Because Satan loves to work through guilt and I know many women who serve God through their careers as beautifully and selflessly as any a woman has ever served in a home. I understand where you’re coming from when you say it, and I’m glad you shared the lessons you learned with us, but it’s always beneficial to try to avoid language that can seem to be judgemental to others trying to follow God’s path for their own lives.

    All that said, there are million things every day that try to rob me of my focus on God, and your honesty in this post really reminded me of where my focus should be. So thanks!

  6. Renee said,

    The Lord used your article here to convict me of this exact same problem in my life. For me, it is a Moms’ Club Message Board. It can seem so easy for me to think, “Well, communicating with other moms, encouraging them, advising them, and creating community with these non-Christian mothers in my area is much more important than getting all this laundry done.” I definitely needed the reminder (and conviction) that my foremost job is to serve God through serving my husband. Thank you so much for being humble and allowing Him to reach me through your struggle.

    Blessings! ❤

  7. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    Thank you lovely ladies for your encouraging words! I’m so glad that what God has been teaching me (and still is!) has been useful to you all as well! 🙂

    Beka, thank you for your gracious word of caution. You’re right–there are “many women who serve God through their careers as beautifully and selflessly as any a woman has ever served in a home”–my mom is one of them! My dad isn’t interested in having her stay at home. So in submission to him, she works full time. She glorifies the Lord in her career because she is there in the workplace in obedience to her husband. She’s an amazing woman, working harder than pretty much anyone else I know—in both realms: at work and at home. And she tries so hard to give her best to both. But you know what? She can’t do it. She gives 100% at work, therefore, she cannot give 100% at home. She can’t keep up with housework, monitoring my brother who is still at home, and doing things in service to my dad when she’s off serving someone else all day long. I don’t judge or blame my mom—I admire her! I have a lot to learn from her! But there are some serious consequences to a woman working outside the home, even if her desire is toward her home rather than her career (as in my mom’s case). She doesn’t have time for exercise, she hardly has time for God’s word (though she makes some time for it), she doesn’t have time to supervise my brother nor to teach him how to manage his own stuff so that he can lighten her load. She doesn’t have time to keep the house clean, she doesn’t have time to prepare healthy at-home meals, she has the stress of her work added to the stress it creates at home because she’s gone all day and still has to take care of everything when she gets home. She doesn’t have time to relax, she doesn’t have time to enjoy her family in the evenings because there’s always something to do since it didn’t get done while she was at work, she doesn’t have time for fellowship with other ladies in a local church. The list could go on…

    As a result, family life is rather disjointed and the house is in disarray compared to the beautiful, peaceful refuge that it could be, and my mom’s worn out, has high blood pressure among other health issues, and is fairly discouraged. Is this what women’s “liberation” is all about?

    My mom’s experience is not authoritative, but God’s word is. The bottom line is that women are 1) created to be helpers to their husbands—they are to seek to make him successful in what he does, sharing his goals and vision and helping him to accomplish what God lays on his heart for his family and ministry. Coupled with this thought, women are commanded to love, respect, and even obey their husbands in all things. And 2) they are commanded to be workers at home, or keepers at home. This means that a woman’s daily life is centered around making and maintaining a pleasant home for her family. This is the way that God commands women to serve Him. And the blessings of following God’s design are INCREDIBLE!!!

    Note that I said in my post that I was “just like the career-minded woman,” not just like the woman who has a career. There’s a difference. One is either ignorant of God’s word, or in rebellion to it (which is basically where I was even though I hadn’t left home), and the other happens to be in the workplace because she doesn’t have any other choice.

    With that in mind, we want to encourage young single ladies to prepare to be godly wives and mothers—and to seek to marry a man who takes God’s word seriously enough that he desires for his family to follow God’s design, which includes the woman having as her primary work or career the effective managing of the home. Working outside the home does not in any way help a woman to be a keeper at home—in fact it hinders her every effort to do so! Disregarding the commands in Titus 2 leads to the word of God being blasphemed or reproached. That is how seriously God takes women’s roles—so we would do well to do everything in our power to obey these commands to the best of our ability—even if that means changing our lifestyle entirely. Biblically, the only way that a married woman can truly honor the Lord in a career is if she has no choice in the matter—her husband has demanded that she work outside the home. We cannot in some abstract way honor or glorify God if we are not trusting Him enough to obey what He commands.

    Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!

  8. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    Please understand, Beka, that I am not trying to pick on anyone here, but rather to uphold God’s word. And really, it is precisely because of my understanding of the Scriptural commands for women that I had any basis on which to analyze my thinking and actions and conclude that they were wrong. And because I can disobey these commands without even leaving the home, I am all the more aware of the fact that I have no right to pass judgment on others or think that I am somehow better than them! “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it!”
    And it makes me all the more thankful that my husband wants me at home and encourages me to make God’s commands my first priorities–and as I learn to take care of those more effectively, then I have more room to serve others outside the home or even do some kind of small business from home (and my husband would love to see me excel at both!). I hope that helps you to understand the heart behind all of what I just shared. I don’t want it to come across as harsh–I just can’t get away from what the Scripture says. And what it says is O so good! 🙂

    Grace and Peace in Christ Jesus our wonderful Savior!
    Lauren

  9. bekapaige said,

    Lauren- thanks for your thoughtful response, I didn’t realize a cautionary word would elicit such a detailed reply!

    While Biblical debates are fascinating to me, I do want to be respectful of this blog that you and Abigail cultivated for a purpose. I don’t want to distract from that or and to “hijack” this post. So I will answer your response because I truly appreciate the time you put into writing it, but then I will say no more unless you would like to continue this discussion, because this is your space, and I respect that.

    Your mom’s experiences with balancing her job and family parallel my mom’s experiences of homeschooling 14 kids, of being a grandma while caring for an infant son. They both feel the pressures of not having enough time or energy. Which is precisely the reason for my caution: already women are burdened not because of “serious consequences to a woman working outside the home” but rather by the world that doesn’t value home or family, and by the church which imposes unbiblical standards in the tradition of the Pharisees.

    There are a few things that you said came directly from Scripture, but in actuality, they do not. For example: you said, “women are created to be helpers to their husbands—they are to seek to make him successful in what he does…” The Bible states that women are created to “glorify God”—as wives only if that is in His plan for their lives. Secondly, you said “women are commanded to love, respect, and even obey their husbands in all things.” This base is Ephesians 5:22-24: “wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord….wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Interestingly, this passage also commands slaves to obey their masters (Eph. 6:5-9). Now, I know very few Christians who condone slavery based on this passage—but if we no longer believe that, then why is it that we today hold women, but not slaves, to the Jewish culture under Roman rule? I would encourage you to look at the original Ephesians, as there is no equivalent verb for “submit” in Greek. Rather, it is a reflexive verb, applying to both husband and wife—for example: “submit to one another as unto the Lord.”

    You also said that women “are commanded to be workers at home… This is the way that God commands women to serve Him.” In Proverbs 31, “an excellent woman” is a lover of her husband, a wise teacher of her children—and a buyer of vineyards, a maker and seller of garments, a woman who is praised and whose husband is known for being married to such a woman. She clearly engages in business as much as she cares for her family. Titus 2 describes young women as lovers of their husbands and children, sensible, pure, workers at home, kind and subject to their own husbands. Nothing in this makes a career out of the question. Workers at home? I have a career and I still have work to do around my home. This is written in a rebuke of gossip—quite possibly, to instruct women to embody Proverbs 31, with hands never idle and no time to gossip. But let’s take the leap to conclude that this passage means that young women are always to be only keepers at home. In the culture of the time, what sense would it make to command women to be engaged in commerce and politics, when they had no property and no rights? Again, I encourage you to look at the Greek that is translated as “subject to their own husbands”—you’ll be surprised at how much it changes the way this verse reads.

    I was concerned by the disregard for single women in your argument that women are created to be wives and mothers. Women are created to serve God as women just as men are to serve God as men. As the Apostle Paul said, if a woman marries, praise the Lord. If she does not, praise the Lord. The Bible extols the blessings of singleness, yet there was no room in your comment for these blessings. Additionally, there are many women for whom being a mother is a physical impossibility. Such statements are very hurtful and guilt-inducing for women who, through no fault of their own, can’t bear children.

    Finally, I would refer you to God’s use of women throughout Scripture. Look at Deborah, who led men into battle. Refer to Lydia, who had a thriving business. Consider Mary Magdalene, whose singleness uniquely qualified her to serve Jesus. Think of Rahab, whose career as a prostitute I (obviously! 🙂 do not condone, yet it allowed her to have men coming and going from her home—and through her, the people of God were victorious.

    A “career-minded woman” is not necessarily “ignorant of God’s word or in rebellion to it” nor is she only “in the workplace because she doesn’t have any other choice.” These are certainly possibilities, but it is also possible that they are neither. You say “working outside the home does not in any way help a woman to be a keeper at home—in fact it hinders her every effort to do so!” But as the Proverbs 31 woman proves, career-focus and home-focus are not mutually exclusive. Finally, sometimes men die or leave their families, and then their wives often work multiple jobs to care for their children because they have no recent work experience. Had they continued their career, these women could better care for their children. I noticed that you mentioned having a business from your home, in which case the only difference between your job and another would be geography. Again, “career-minded” and family-focused are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    Then there are those like myself, who were raised by amazing stay-at-home mothers, and while millions of women leave the marketplace to go home, we will be there, in business, politics, culture and science, daily fighting the battle for your right to do so. Women trying to follow God’s word are all imperfect, but are trying to live by the book. I encourage you to look beyond womanhood as wife and mother only, for the Scriptures teach that women can have many roles, some which do not even include a family.

    Again, my intent with my original caution was not to start a debate, and I will leave it at that because this space belongs to you and Abigail. My hope is that “as iron sharpens iron” so this discussion will sharpen you and me, and those who read it, to the glory of God.

  10. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    Beka, I can tell you’ve put a lot of thought into this issue, and I respect that. And it sounds like your mom’s a trooper! Fourteen kids is a lot! 🙂

    Thank you for yet another thought-provoking and gracious comment. I wanted to let you know that I don’t see you as “hijacking” our blog—your comments are welcome and appreciated. And indeed they are worth wrestling with.

    I also wanted to let you know that I was very intentional in avoiding any application for single women (or widows/abandoned women), though I did make one comment about preparing for marriage. I was not disregarding the subject; I simply see singleness as a separate issue. Lord willing, we will address it in the future to the best of our knowledge and experience.

    There’s a lot to think about in what you have commented, and I thought of some initial responses. But I agree with you that we don’t need to carry on a debate in the comment section of this article. I am familiar with most of the arguments you raised, and I would like to take some time to fully develop and organize my thoughts in response. So I’ll present our case (mine and Abigail’s) from Scripture and deal with these issues in a series of articles sometime in the near future. Then I’d be happy for you to comment and we can discuss things in detail in that setting. Does that sound good to you?

    Before signing off on this thread, I’d like to leave you with one point and two questions related to your post—just to give us something to chew on while I prepare some articles on this issue of women’s roles.

    1) I did look up the Greek as you suggested. The Greek word translated “submit” or “be subject” in Ephesians 5 and Titus 2 is hupotasso. Strong’s definition of this word is: to place or rank under, to subject, to obey. Vine’s says it’s actually a military term meaning to rank under. And the verb itself is not reflexive—only the use of it in conjunction with the Greek word for “one another” in Eph. 5:21 makes it reflexive. When this verb is used in Eph. 5:24, Titus 2:5, and Col. 3:18 in the context of women being subject to their own husbands, this word is not reflexive at all. So… ?

    2) Regardless of what the word translated “be subject to” literally means in the Greek, what do you think Paul means by it in the context of the passage?
    “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” ~Ephesians 5:22-24
    How is the church subject to Christ? What does that tell us about what Paul means by “wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…as the church is subject to Christ…in everything”?

    3) Lastly, if the fact that slavery is mentioned in the same passage means that we shouldn’t cling to Paul’s teaching on the wife’s subjection/submission to her husband, then what of parent-child relationships mentioned between the commands to wives and those to slaves? Do children no longer have to honor and obey their parents? And for that matter, do husbands no longer need to love their wives as Christ loves the church?

    I am by no means ignoring everything else you said, I just felt I should at this time bring these three key points to your attention. You don’t have to respond. Just give these some careful consideration. I’ll be giving all of your arguments careful consideration as well. Thank you for the challenge to do so! I hope that we can discuss this more in the future!

    So…anyone else who’s been following this discussion…stay tuned!

    Love in Christ,
    Lauren

  11. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    Oh, I did have one more question–not for thought or discussion, but just to help me to understand what you mean: What are you refering to when you say “the church which imposes unbiblical standards in the tradition of the Pharisees”? What are those unbiblical standards? I agree that they do exist, and on both sides of the women’s roles spectrum, so you dont’ have to go into detail, you can simply list them. I just want to know what they are in your mind.

    Thanks!

  12. bekapaige said,

    Hey Lauren,

    Quick answers to your questions:

    I’m very glad that you do find room for single women. However, the premise of your argument was that “women are …created to be helpers to their husbands.” If singleness is acceptable, then it would seem that women are not, in fact, created solely for marriage.

    Truthfully, if I thought it was appropriate for me to debate your views on your blog, I would have done so in my original comment. So how about this… when you two write your thoughts on this, I’ll link and respond to your post on one of my blogs. Then if you or your readers WANT to read my thoughts, you can click the trackback instead of being “forced” to read them in the comments. While you’ve both been very kind and reassuring, it still bothers me that this takes away from your original post.

    I’m glad that you looked up what English translators refer to, but what I meant was to look at the Greek passage. You see, “hupotasso” does not appear anywhere in Eph. 5:22, which is where English translations insert the verb “submit.” The Greek in Eph. 5:21 indeed is reflexive, and begins with the wife to her husband and ends with the husband to his wife (5:22-25). As you study this topic, I encourage you to look into Greek syntax, especially the active, passive and middle voices, and the words “arche, kephale, hupakouo, peitharcheo, agapao”. The literal Greek translation is “be responsive to one another,” not “be subject to” as you referenced in your second question. However, in response to your third question, let’s say for discussion that it’s “be subject to.”

    It’s interesting that we can cast aside the slavery commands because of cultural changes, yet are unwilling to consider its adaptation to Jewish women, who were without rights, regarded as possessions, unable to testify in courts, and entirely at the disposal of their fathers or husbands. If we can understand that Paul was instructing within cultural constructs in regards to slavery, how is it that we cannot understand this application to women? I’m afraid I don’t understand your question in regards to children. Are children still under parental authority? Or are people under the age of 18 in our culture allowed to marry, sign contracts, own property, vote, fight in wars, or purchase alcohol or tobacco?

    I think that I clarified everything that you asked for, so hopefully that will help with your future posts. I know it’s hard to understand another’s perspective from just a few paragraphs when we’re discussing such a complex topic.

  13. bekapaige said,

    Oops, sorry! I didn’t even see your second comment. Here’s a list, in no particular order 🙂

    Some churches relegate women to “positions of servitude” that wholly segregate them from men, some put women down if they’re not in the pulpit, others put women down if they even consider taking a job. Some churches shun single women completely, while others fail to obey the command to care for widows.

    Then there are the churches that teach women not to resist when raped or sexually assaulted, and teach women to be “on command” for their husbands whenever they want it.

    And the churches that have repeatedly told my mom that she’s harming her children by keeping them at home instead of having them out in the world (public schools), and the churches that have made mothers with children in the public school system feel completely worthless because they don’t have their children in private or home school settings. Ah, the list could go on and on, leaving women discouraged, frustrated and devoid of joy or energy, just like the Pharisees tore down the Jews when Christ dwelled on earth.

  14. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    Thanks Beka for your consideration of our blog and not wanting to crowd it with opposing comments. I would still welcome them in the context of posts addressing these specific issues, but if you think it would be best to post a link to your response elsewhere, that would be fine with me. I really do appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    I’m only going to respond to your second post right now. I do have thoughts on the first one, but I’m limited on time this morning. I suspected that I would agree with you on many of the “unbiblical standards” that you had in mind, and indeed I do. I think that the church is sending mixed messages to women–no matter what church you find yourself in! The ultra-conservative camp and the not-so-conservative camp alike place unbiblical requirements upon women. The contrdictory demands upon women (be they from society at large or from within the church) make for much confusion and frustration! We simply can’t please everyone!

    But God makes it simple for us: we are to please Him. And I know you agree with that! 🙂

    This is why I believe it is so important to go back to Scripture and build our beliefs about what a woman should be from there (which means laying aside both the “women should always work outside the home and try to dominate men” and “women should never leave their home and should be walked all over by men” extremes–and every other view in between). We have to separate ourselves from our culture and our own presuppositions and immerse ourselves into God’s word in hopes of discovering what it teaches we are to do wth ourselves! I think you’ll agree with this approach, though I know you don’t agree with the outcome of mine and Abigail’s study. But that is the goal in our handling of the Scriptures. What does it say? What does it mean (what did it mean for Paul’s original readers)? How do I apply it?

    I will clarify some things in response to your first post. But this is all I have time for right now!

    God bless!
    Lauren

  15. bekapaige said,

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you and Abigail find when you examine the Scriptures. No matter how many times I go back to this issue, I always learn something new each time. I’m looking forward to this round being no exception! Best-

    Beka 🙂

  16. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    Just another quickie for now: 🙂

    “If singleness is acceptable, then it would seem that women are not, in fact, created solely for marriage.” So true! Women, like men, are all created first and foremost for the glory of God! Most women do marry, and so that is God’s design for women in general and why the commands for wives are so important. But you’re right, a complete discussion on God’s will for women shouldn’t fail to include singleness—so we will get to that eventually! I’m sorry I didn’t make this more clear before now.

    Thanks for pointing me to those Greek words. I think I see where you’re going with them. I’ll continue to consider them and will address them when I write those articles. In the meantime, please look up all the uses of hupotasso in the New Testament. I believe this gives further insight into what Paul means for us in Ephesians. This is indeed a complex topic! Much to consider!

    You didn’t really answer question number 2 as to what Paul means by using the relationship of the church to Christ as an example for the relationship of the wife to her husband–but you don’t have to answer it here, you can just think on it. Whichever you’d like.

    That’s all for now! This is a fun study. I love how we’re spurring each other on to dig a little deeper! 🙂

    ~Lauren

  17. bekapaige said,

    Lauren– you’re right, I didn’t go very in-depth with my answers to your earlier questions. As I’ve said several times now, and as the decreasing lengths of my comments suggest, my conscience bothers me in having this discussion here. I have studied both the use of hupotasso and the relationship of the church to Christ in reference to marriage– in fact, I’ve written six papers about them. But again, as I’ve stated, I feel disrespectful in having this discussion here. Don’t worry- this is a subject that I have a passion for, and when you’re ready to have this conversation, I will be very glad to respond and further explain my position. But as much as I would like to respond (and if you knew me, you would know that it’s very difficult for me to NOT respond :)), I am holding back because I’m trying to be respectful to you and Abigail, rather than having 9 comments after this post that don’t relate to its original and important topic of putting God first.

    Beka

  18. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    I had only one more thing in response to your earlier posts: I don’t toss out the commands regarding slavery–they just don’t apply to us in the USA because slavery doesn’t exist here (praise God!). I believe all of the commands in Eph. 5 (and the whole NT) apply today. That’s not an argument, that’s just letting you know where I stand, a clarification.

    Thanks for that last post. It helped me to understand where you’re coming from a little better. I’m sorry that I’ve had part in drawing you into something that grated against your conscience. And again, I do very much appreciate your consideration for Abigail and me.

    Sigh…If you knew ME, you would know that it’s very difficult for me to NOT respond, too! 😉 And I suppose that is why we’ve been going at this as long as we have.

    May we both relax and enjoy the fact that we aren’t discussing this topic here any longer! 🙂

    Blessings to you, Beka!

    In Christ,
    Lauren

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