But for women, there is a disconnection between what they know intellectually and what they feel to be true. And therein lies one of our problems: We trust what we feel to be true, rather than what we know to be true.
The truth is, God does love us. Whether or not we feel loved, regardless of what we have done or where we have come from, He loves us with an infinite, incomprehensible love.
He loves me-because He is love. His love for me is not based on anything I have ever done or ever could do for Him. It is not based on my performance. I do not deserve His love and could never earn it.
The God of the Bible is a compassionaate, tender, merciful Father. That doesn't mean He gives us everything we want - no wise father would give his children everything they want. It doesn't mean we can always understand His decisions - He is far too great for that. It doesn't mean He never allows us to suffer pain - in fact, at times, He actually inflicts pain and hardship upon us. Why? Because He loves us. Because He cares about us. Because He is committed to us. Hebrews tells us, "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness"
The problem is that our view of ourselves and our sense of worth are often determined by the input and opinions of others. Sometimes the input of others is accurate and helpful. But not always. If, for some reason, the person we are listening to is looking through a defective "lens", his or her vision will be distorted. Some of us have lived all our lives in an emotional prison because we have accepted what a false, "broken" mirror said to us about ourselves.
The deepest longings of our hearts cannot be filled by any created person or thing. Every created thing is guaranteed to disappoint us. Things can burn or break or be stolen or get lost. People can move or change or fail or die. I would always live in a state of disappointment if I was looking to people to satisfy me at the core of my being.
The truth is that all I have to do is the work God assigns to me. What a freedom it has been for me to accept that there is time for me to do everything that is on God’s “to do” list for my day, for my week, and for my life!
The frustration comes when I attempt to take on responsibilities that are not on His agenda for me. When I establish my own agenda or let others determine the priorities for my life, rather than taking time to discern what it is that God wants me to do, I end up buried under piles of half-finished, poorly done, or never-attempted projects and tasks. I live with guilt, frustration, and haste, rather than enjoying the peaceful, well-ordered life that He intends.
Frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities God does not intend for us to carry. Freedom, joy, and fruitfulness come from seeking to determine God’s priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities, in the power of His Spirit, realizing that He has provided necessary time and ability to do everything that He has called us to do.
The truth is that marriage is good and right, that it is God’s plan for most people, and that there can (and ought to) be great joy and blessing in the context of a God-centered marriage. Satan twist the Truth about marriage by suggesting to women that the purpose of marriage is personal happiness and fulfillment, and that they cannot be truly happy without a husband to love them and meet their needs.
The truth is that the ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God.
The truth is that God has promised to give us everything we need, and if He knows a husband would make it possible for us to bring greater glory to Him, then He will provide a husband.
The truth is that those who insist on having their own way often end up with unnecessary heartache, while those who wait on the Lord always get His best.
Many Christian wives do not realize that they have two powerful “weapons” available to them that are far more effective than nagging, whining, or preaching. The first weapon is a godly life, which God often uses in a man’s life to create conviction and spiritual hunger. (1 Peter 3:1-4)
The second weapon is prayer. When a wife consistently points out the things she wishes her husband would change, she is likely to make him defensive and resistant. But when she takes her concerns to the Lord, she is appealing to a higher power to act in her husband’s life – and it’s a lot harder for a man to resist God than to resist a nagging wife!
Mary was a woman who knew how to keep things in her heart and ponder them. (Luke 2:19) She could afford to wait and be quite because she knew the power of God and trusted Him to fulfill His plans for her life and her family.
If we as women focus on what we “deserve”, on our “rights”, or on what men “ought” to do for us, we will become vulnerable to hurt and resentment when our expectations are not fulfilled. Blessing and joy are the fruit of seeking to be a giver rather than a taker and of looking for ways to bless, serve, and minister to the needs of our families.
I have discovered that the fundamental issue in the relation to submission really comes down to my willingness to trust God and to place myself under His authority. When I am willing to obey Him, I find it is not nearly so difficult or threatening to submit to the human authorities He has placed in my life.
God said that man needs a helper. The true woman celebrates this calling and becomes affirming rather than adversarial, compassionate rather than controlling, a partner rather than a protagonist. She becomes substantively rather than superficially submissive.
The true woman is not afraid to place herself in a position of submission. She does not have to grasp; she does not have to control. Her fear dissolves in the light of God’s covenant promise to be her God and to live within her. Submission is simply a demonstration of her confidence in the sovereign power of the Lord God. Submission is a reflection of her redemption.
I can’t help but wonder to what extent we women have demotivated and emasculated the men around us by our quickness to take the reins rather than waiting on the Lord to move men to action. We can so easily strip men of the motivation to rise to the challenge and provide the necessary leadership. To make matters worse, when they do take action, the women they look to for encouragement and affirmation correct them or tell them how they could have done it better.
What can free us from the drive to control the men in our lives? We must learnt to wait on the Lord; in His time, and in His way, He will act on behalf of those who wait for Him.
God uses the rough edges of each partner in a marriage to conform the other to the image of Christ. Your mate’s weaknesses can become a tool in God’s hand to make you into the women He created you to be.
Love is not a feeling; it is a commitment to act in the best interests of another.
Regardless of what emotions are whirling around inside, by God’s grace, we can choose to fix our minds on Him and to “trust and obey”. When we do, we will experience His peace and the grace to be faithful, even though our circumstances may not change.
We must choose, without any regard to the state of our emotions, what attitude our will will take toward God. We must recognize that our emotions are only the servants of our will. Our will can control our feelings if only we are steadfastly minded to do so. Many times when my feelings have declared contrary to the facts, I have changed those feelings entirely by a steadfast assertion of their opposite.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
Certainly what happens in our bodies does affect us emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. We cannot isolate these various dimensions of who we are – they are inseparably intertwined. But we fall into the trap of the enemy when we justify fleshly, sinful attitudes and responses based on our physical condition on hormonal changes.
But every monthly cycle is also a reminder that God made us women, and that which our womanhood comes the capacity for being a bearer and nurturer of life. Even as a single woman, I find this to be gracious and valuable reminder of who I am, why God created me, and how I can best glorify Him here on this earth.
Do not look forward to the changes and chances of this life in fear; rather look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. He has kept you hither-to, - do you but hold fast to His dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all things; and, when you cannot stand, He will bear you in His arms… The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you to-morrow, and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. –Francis de Sales-
Regardless of how we are feeling or what we are going through, our immediate response should be to turn to the Lord. Whether we are prospering or suffering, happy or sad, healthy or sick – before we do anything else, we should acknowledge God’s presence and ask Him to walk with us through the experience, to direct us in responding to the circumstances, and to provide His resources to deal with the situation.
When it comes to dealing with our emotions, we must remember that “feeling good” is not the ultimate objective in the Christian’s life. God does not promise that those who walk with Him will be free from all difficult emotions. In fact, as long as we are in these bodies, we will experience varying degrees of pain and distress. The real focus of our lives must not be changing or “fixing” things to make ourselves feel better but on the glory of God and His redemptive purpose in the world. Everything else in expendable. True joy comes from abandoning ourselves to that end.
God is far more interested in our holiness than in our immediate, temporal happiness – He knows that apart from being holy, we can never be truly happy.
True joy is not the absence of pain but the sanctifying, sustaining presence of the Lord Jesus in the midst of the pain.
His grace is sufficient to deal with the memories, wounds, and failures of the most scarred or sordid past.
The only way to experience true freedom and peace is to let go of the reins – to relinquish all control to God, believing that He can be trusted to manage all that concerns us.