Our Husband’s Burden

Our Husband’s Burden

Women who are stay-at-home moms are in a better position to attend Bible studies, watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio, and spend more time in the Word.  This can help us grow immensely in our walk with the Lord.

A problem arises, however, when we start to think we are more spiritual than our husband because we rarely see him in the Word.  What we fail to realize is that he can’t be in the Word like we can because he is working so hard to provide for the family.  We need to realize that he has a tremendous burden on him in doing that!  It should move us to intercede on his behalf a lot more than we probably do.

We may not be aware of how he may truly be growing in his walk with the Lord as he carries the burden of meeting all of the monthly financial obligations.  There’s the mortgage, the car payment, utility bills, food, and insurance, just to name a few.  That doesn’t even include the extras such as braces or the cost of gymnastics, ballet, soccer, or basketball.  God may be using the weight of the financial burden to really develop your husband’s dependency upon Himself.

I remember hearing a pastor say that a man’s mind is constantly thinking about finances, the bills, and being the sole provider.  When he asked the men in the congregation if he was correct in his assessment, the sanctuary erupted with a chorus of ‘Amen.’

God may be teaching your husband to trust Him, while maintaining a peaceful heart when he hears about more job cuts in his company.  God may be developing his spirituality in the many situations he faces every day.  If he works with the public, he may be learning to extend grace to people in ways that create huge spiritual growth in his life.  God may develop him through the ‘school of hard knocks,’ rather than through the resources that you have at your disposal.

I know that when I became a stay-at-home mom, I grew in ways that I never thought possible.  Yet, at the same time, when I worked full time as a customer service rep, I also had many opportunities to grow in grace while dealing with very upset customers.  When I worked at the hospital, often dealing with families whose loved ones were terminally ill, God used those experiences to help me learn to show mercy and compassion, even while taking care of the paperwork to get their loved one admitted to our unit.  So, you see, God can do wonders in developing your husband’s spiritual walk, even while he is at work.

Our husbands carry a heavy load, knowing that if they don’t provide for their own family, they are worse than an infidel.  (I Timothy 5:8)  That is a huge load to carry, and if we fail to realize how deeply spiritual it is to meet this obligation, we fail to be that crowning glory to our husband. (Proverbs 12:4)  When we bless them, encourage them, and thank them for the wonderful way in which they provide for our family, we speak life to them. (Proverbs 18:21)  When we encourage them, as well as pray for them, we also fulfill the words in Galatians 6:2 where it tells us to carry each other’s burdens.

Do you need to help ‘carry’ his burden?
© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

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Joy

Joy

As busy wives and mothers, we tend to neglect taking care of ourselves.  We get so caught up in the needs of our family and the myriad of things to do each day that we literally get lost in the shuffle.  You’ve probably even had the famous acrostic running through your head,  “JOY stands for Jesus, others, and yourself.”  Keeping yourself at the end of the list, you may wonder, “When do I get to do something for me?”

The Son of God had to take time for Himself.  He’d go off to a mountain to pray.  Sometimes you would find Him at Mary and Martha’s house, enjoying food and fellowship.  He even had times when He simply hung out with the guys.  Once He was so tired that He took a nap on a boat during a terrible storm.

Jesus knew there were times when He needed to refresh His spirit, His soul, and His body.  If the Son of God needed to do these things, why would we be any different?  We must take care of our spirit and nourish it with God’s Word.  We need to nourish our souls, which could come from reading a book or getting together with a good friend.  We also need to take time to nourish our bodies through things like a refreshing soak in the tub or even a midday nap.


When I was growing up, I had a friend who used the word “you’uns.”  She would often say, “What are you’uns doing this weekend?”  I decided that her word would work great as an acrostic.  I think “JOY” should be
Jesus,
Ourselves, and
You’uns.

Sisters, it’s time we take some time for ourselves and experience some of God’s joy for us!

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Guard Duty

Guard Duty

 

We find a command in Prov. 4:23 to guard our hearts because it is the wellspring, or abundant supply, of life.  In the CEV, it says that we should guard our thoughts because they are the source of true life.  Indeed, when we take the time to meditate on God’s Word, it gives life to our spirit.  In the negative, when we think upon negative things, it can zap us of any positive outlook, causing us to be negative.  We will wind up in a bad mood, and our spirit will reek of a terrible stench to all who have the sad misfortune of meeting us on those days.

 

In Mt. 12:34, Jesus tells us that it’s from the abundance in our heart that our mouth will speak.  What kind of abundance is in your heart?  In verse 35, Jesus tells us that a good man will bring up good from the treasure stored within him, but an evil man will bring up the evil that is stored within him.  If we are honest, we will admit that we all have times when evil comes out of us.  But, how did it get there when we are Christians?  Eph. 4:26-27 tells us that one way we let evil in is by letting the sun go down on our wrath.  The next verse tells us that we shouldn’t give the devil a foothold.

 

Any soldier who has been in Iraq could tell you that in guard duty, you have to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Mt. 10:16.  The soldiers are in areas where there are many civilians.  They want to be harmless where innocent civilians are concerned, but they know that there are enemies lurking among the civilians.  As Christians, we need to be on active guard duty.  Even among people whom we consider friends, there can be an enemy lurking.  That is why Paul addressed the issue of factions and discord within the church in Gal. 5:20.  James was speaking to the church when he mentioned the quarrels and fights that were taking place in James 4:2.  I find it interesting to note that just a a few verses later, in verse seven, he mentions resisting the devil.  It looks to me like the Christians went AWOL from guard duty, only to give Satan a foothold through their bickering.  Have any of us gone AWOL?

 

Here are some keys to avoid going AWOL from spiritual guard duty:

Col. 4:2 Be watchful and thankful.  Pay attention to areas of your life where you are growing lax.  Learn to cultivate a thankful attitude.  When we give in to complaining and murmuring, we open ourselves up to the enemy’s attacks.  Just look at what the Israelites faced when they grumbled in the wilderness.

I Tim. 4:16 admonishes us to watch our life and doctrine closely.  To do this, we must be diligent to be in the Word, absorbing it so that we aren’t carried away by every wind of doctrine.  Eph. 4:14.  Even on Christian TV, there are times where things are spoken that aren’t scriptural.  If we don’t get ourselves filled with the Word, we won’t be able to discern the difference.  We should be like the Bereans in Acts 17, who searched the scriptures, looking to make sure that what Paul said was true.

Phil. 4:7 tells us to pray with thanksgiving, giving all of our requests to God, then He will guard our hearts and minds.

Ps. 141:3 Ask the Lord to set a guard over your mouth.

Mk. 13:33; I Cor. 16:13 Be on guard, standing firm in your faith.

Lk. 12:37 tells us that it’s good for the servant whom Christ finds watching when He returns.  This isn’t a passive watching, but it’s very active.  Thinking again to soldiers who are on guard duty, they use surveillance, and they are vigilant and aware.  Being on guard duty  means to attend to or to concentrate.  They are active in watching out for any attacks of the enemy.  These are all active words, rather than passive.

May our Lord Jesus find each one of us active in watching and awaiting His soon return.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

 

How God Speaks

How God Speaks

 

One early morning, as I was on my way to work my shift in the emergency room, the Lord revealed something to me that really spoke to my heart.  I was just getting ready to turn into the hospital parking lot when I looked up toward the still-darkened sky on my left.  The moon was peaking through some clouds.  Though it wasn’t a full moon, you could still see the light shining through those clouds.

 

In that familiar, still, quiet voice, the Lord said, “That is how I often speak to my children.  They see clouds all around them as they are going through difficulties.  Through those clouds, I will speak to them, shining my light into their hearts, giving them hope.”
He continued to reveal new images to me regarding how He speaks to His children.  There are times when we go outside on a hot, summer day, where the sun is so bright that it hurts our eyes.  This is similar to the times when we read the Word and a portion of scripture seems to pop off the page, and God reveals something new to use in a very powerful way. 

 

Needless to say, by the time I had parked the car and walked through the doors of the ER, I had a new spring in my step!

© 2012, Stacy R. Miller

 

Do You Have a Moment?

o You Have a Moment?

 

You feel stressed.  You know that you need to spend some time with the Lord.  Finally, you get a break.  You just get settled down and open your Bible, then you hear,  “Mom can I ………?”  Ok, you get that taken care of, and back to your Bible, then you hear cereal spilled all over the floor by the child who can’t clean up their own mess.  You jump up to clean it before it gets crushed all over the floor.  You tell the kids to please leave you alone for just a few minutes.  Well, a few minutes to you is an eternity to them.  You start to read again, and you hear the famous words, “Wipe me!”  🙂

 

By this time, you are totally frustrated.  You have decided that you aren’t going to get your time with the Lord.  Your spirit cries out, “Lord, I just don’t have an hour of time to spend with you anymore like I used to, and I really miss your presence, and the times where we talk.”

 

Suddenly, you hear the Master’s voice, and He gently says, “No, you don’t have the time to spend an hour, but you do have just a moment.  Want to talk?”

 

As you go about your daily chores and tasks, remember when you are cleaning the toilet, or changing a diaper, or taking out the trash, you do have a moment while doing those tasks.  Use it to talk to the Lord.  Train your mind to fix your thoughts on Him.  Heb. 5:14 says that solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

 

Learn to listen and anticipate God’s voice, reminding you that you do have a moment to spend with Him throughout the day.  As you fix peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, thank the Lord that He is your bread of life, and that He daily gives you living bread.  As you bake cookies, thank Him that as He works His purpose in your life, your disposition will be sweet to behold.

 

Col. 3:1-2  “If then you have been raised with Christ to a new life, aim at and seek the rich, eternal treasures that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  And set your minds and keep them set

on what is above, not on the things that are on the earth.  (Amp. Bible)

To help you keep your mind set on things above, place scripture cards around the house, in strategic locations (by the rocker where you nurse the baby, on the bathroom mirror, at the kitchen sink, on the dash in your car, etc.)  As you focus on these scriptures, and remember to talk to the Lord during those “moments” during the day, you will find that you are able to cultivate a very close relationship with Him.  You will feel Him there with you, helping you, refreshing you.  The scriptures will get deep into your spirit as you meditate on them throughout the day.  Before you know it, you will have a song in your heart and joy on your face.

 

A footnote from Titus 2:4-5 in the Full Life Study Bible says that God has a distinct purpose for the woman in relation to family, home, and motherhood.  His desire for a wife and mother is that her attention and devotion be focused on her family.  The home, husband, and children must be the center of a Christian mother’s world; this is her divinely appointed way of honoring the Word of God.  (In other words, we have a really big job to do, and we need His help!)

 

We all tend to let ourselves run out of “spiritual gas” at times.  If a car runs out of gas, it takes longer to fix it than it would have if we would have just taken the time to pull in the gas station.  It is the same with our spiritual lives.

 

I think I hear the Father now, saying, “You have a moment.”

 

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

Proverbs 31:30-31

Proverbs 31:30-31

AMP: Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain (because it is not lasting), but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates of the city.

CEV: Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the Lord deserves to be praised.  Show her respect — praise her in public for what she has done.

MSG: Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.  The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.  Give her everything she deserves!  Festoon her with praises!

We have studied many verses regarding this dear lady, and we find that only one verse is dedicated to talking to the outer beauty of women.  That is one verse out of twenty two verses.  One dear sister gave me a good way to put this into perspective.  There are 24 hours in a day, so we should only be spending one of those hours in concentrated effort to exercise, shower, do our hair, and our make-up.  This gives us a better perspective regarding the status of outward beauty verses the inward beauty.

Our Proverbs 31 lady has learned the value of having that unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.  She knows that her outer beauty will fade.  She knew that she would develop wrinkles, and have added pounds due to bearing many children, not to mention from the transition of going through menopause.  She knew that gray would eventually take over as her primary hair color.  She was wise enough to invest in unfading beauty, rather than the beauty which is fleeting.

This is a woman who is well-balanced.  She has made God her very top priority.  Putting Christ first has enabled her to get all of the other things in life in the right order.  All of the good that is in her is a result of the Christ who dwells in her heart.

© 2004, Stacy R. Miller

Thank you for joining in on this study.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Divided Loyalties

Divided Loyalties

 

As Christian women, we wear many titles.  In fact, the list can often seem endless.  Child of God, wife, mother, nurse, secretary, inventory manager, answering service, housekeeper, laundry attendant, chauffeur, and so on.  With so many things calling for our attention, we can find it very hard to keep the Lord our top priority, loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

 

Psalm 119:113 talks of hating those who have divided loyalties. (NLT) That really struck a chord with me because I could clearly see myself in that verse.  How many times have I given myself over to “doing” for God instead of cultivating my relationship with Him?

 

A wife whose husband is always working is going to feel neglected before too long.  To her, love is more than just “doing” things for the person all the time.  It involves spending time with each other and communicating.

 

How often have I neglected the Lord because I felt my “doing” for Him was the same as loving Him?  When I do that, I have divided loyalties.  I say I love Him, but choose my busy-ness over spending time with Him.  God wants us to seek Him first in all that we do.  I have found that by doing so, not only does my stress level drop immensely, but I am able to stay focused.  Even while going from chore to chore, my mind stays more focused on Him.  As there is a break in one area, I am better able to focus on the next task at hand, rather than get distracted with things which will waste my time and energy.

 

Recently, I took a Sabbatical from an activity I really enjoy so that I could regain my focus.  I was amazed at the difference!  After spending my quiet time with the Lord, I was able to get all of our homeschooling done, finish chores, go swimming with my daughter, work on a class I plan to teach at church, plus write a devotion.  Had I not committed my day to Him and earnestly listened to His leading, my heart would have been given to divided loyalties once again.  While I am only sharing one day’s activities here, I can assure you that since I have really been working to readjust my focus, I have had several days where I have been astounded at all I was able to accomplish.

 

What causes you to have divided loyalties?  What can you do this day to make some changes?

© 2007, Stacy R Miller

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