Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sensible, pure, workers at home, kind

Be sensible! We've all heard that phrase at one time or another. Well, what exactly does it mean? Merriam Webster says: having, containing, or indicative of good sense or reason; rational: (syn.) reasonable, perceptible.
Making wise choices that benefit your home and family and that honor God. It all comes back to adorning the Gospel. Praying about decisions, asking for discernment, seeking God's will through His written Word. It is the foolish woman who tries to go it alone, without searching the riches of Scripture for the answers. I am sure I would make poor choices on my own. I can only depend on the all-wise Creator God to guide my decisions and lead me in the right direction. I am teaching my children how to make right and good decisions by the ones I make. Am I reasonable in the things I ask my family to do? Are my expectations of them reasonable? Am I rational during family discussions? All of these are part of being sensible.

Pure-A lost word in today's society, or perhaps I should say, redefined. The real meaning: free from moral fault or guilt; marked by chastity; free from what vitiates, weakens, or pollutes; containing nothing that does not properly belong.
We see anything but that in the media and even at the mall! Godly modesty is directly related to purity. When we dress, we need to ask ourselves, am I trying to bring attention to myself and evoke sensual feelings in others about me or am I dressing in such a way that God will be seen above all in my life? What do your clothes tell others about you? We should be ashamed if the way we dress draws attention to parts of our bodies that causes sin or temptation for others. Look in the mirror and see if God would be pleased with what you are wearing. When you bend over, what can be seen? Are there things showing that shouldn't be?
You don't have to dress in dumpy clothes to be modest. I believe we need to be beautiful for our husbands and as women. You can dress modestly yet classy. Just cover up, but not too tightly! I love Talbots! I look for those at consignment shops. Those are great places to find traditional, classic clothes that you can afford. Look at Barbara Bush. I have never seen her that she did not look classy and beautifully attired, yet very modestly dressed.

Purity also leads to a question of faithfulness. Faithfulness to our spouse begins in the heart and mind. If we are lusting in our minds, it's the same thing as committing adultery. We need to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5 If you are struggling with lust, pay attention to what you are watching, reading and listening to. Outside influences can affect your thought life. Remove anything that is causing you to stumble. Get rid of the cable!! Get rid of the romance novels! Those especially have no place in a Christian home. Satan will use whatever he can to cause discontentment in marriage. Get an accountability partner to help you. That is Biblical!

Another sore subject for many is women working outside the home. I may get hate mail from this one! Again, if we go to Scripture it is not a sin for a woman to work outside the home. However, where you see women talked about, like in Proverbs 31 or Titus 2, she is at home keeping and managing her home. I don't know about you, but I have so much work within my home to keep it running smoothly and efficiently that I simply could not work outside and do what I do here. I could not be ministering my family and others if I was working because then I would have to make up for the time I was not at home doing what I needed to. I miss out on the blessing of ministering to others. Work can cause many conflicts with home. If you have a sick child you then have a boss that you are subject to and have to answer to. You have to use the time you have after work catching up on household chores thereby taking time you could be spending with your family. You could miss out on ministry opportunities because you have to work on the day your church may be helping a needy family. You are now accountable to someone other than your husband. Childcare could become a problem at the last minute causing you to place your children in a less than desirable situation. Who is influencing your children?
Here is the real question; why are you working outside your home?
"We are so in debt that I have to". There are consequences to debt but leaving your home to pay it off may not be the answer. Sacrifice may be.
"We just can't make it on one salary". Is it because you really can't even buy food or pay the bills on one or do you want more "stuff", to eat out often, travel? Perhaps your husband needs a second part-time job or seek another one that will provide for his family.
"My husband says I have to work". Here, you must submit! Pray that God will change his heart and perhaps even his job so you can be at home.
"We can't pay our mortgage on my husbands salary". Time to buy a smaller, less expensive house!
"My children won't have anything if I don't work". What could your children possibly need that would cause you to leave your home? Toys, gadgets, designer clothes? If you ask any child today, they want their parents to spend time with them, not stuff. Children want a loving, safe home.
We can all live on much less than we think. It's the media that tells us we need more "stuff". If we have food in our mouths, clothes on our backs, a warm place to sleep, healthy children, a steady job for our husbands, what more could we need? God has promised to meet our every need. Have you taken God's place in providing? Do you not trust Him to meet your every need? Satan wants you to worry and fret over everything and take over what God has promised to do. Yes, you may have to suffer the consequences of debt but leaving your home will not solve that problem. Discipline will!
Workers at home! Making a safe, loving, caring home for your family that will adorn the Gospel and minister to others.

If you are a single woman, your home can still minister to others as you use it for God's glory. Likely you do have to work but God can still use you mightily! You can have evening Bible studies for other single women, keep the children of a married couple who may need a night out once in a while. House a traveling missionary couple. Host parties! Don't miss out on your opportunity to bless others!

And finally, kind! of a sympathetic nature; disposed to be helpful and solicitous; of a forbearing nature; gentle.
Whew! How many times have we blown that one? We typically react worse to our families than anyone else. Do we treat our families with kindness or just others? We certainly don't want others to think we are anything but kind, but our families? Do we even care what they think? I must confess that I haven't always been as kind to my family as I should and therefore, how do you think my children treat each other? Certainly not always with kindness. I grieve over that! I blame myself that I have not been a better example. Why would we not be kind to our own families? God help us! We must pray for God to give us kinder hearts towards our families. Maybe you struggle with a particular person. Ask God to give you His love for them. We certainly don't deserve His kindness but He freely gives it. We must see others in the same light. None of us deserve anything but God in His grace does show us kindness, forbearance, goodness and mercy.

These are challenges but ones that we can manage with the aid of the Holy Spirit. We must constantly be aware of these things in our lives and how we are managing them. They are not optional! Ask your family if you are carrying out this mandate in Scripture. They will tell you!! We are called to obedience and if we are obedient to God and His Word, then we will be anxious to fulfill this mandate to be Titus 2 women thereby honoring and adorning the Gospel!

For Christ and His kingdom,