Monday, January 26, 2009

There Is Hope

This has been an emotional morning for me. I have had feelings of anger- righteous anger, the kind Jesus had when he knocked over the money tables- mixed with sadness. A friend of mine, someone I care about deeply, is going through a very difficult time right now. Her husband is the cause of her pain. Someone she has loved, trusted and respected so much has deeply pierced her beautiful heart:) This makes me sad for her, but I also feel angry. Angry at what has happened to her and her family, and angry at how Satan has attacked women and continues to do so.

I love men. I believe with all my heart that the male gender offers to the world God's character as only they can do. I believe the same for women. But lately I have heard too many stories from my friends of how the men in their lives are treating them, and mistreating them. It saddens my heart so. I cannot even put into words what I am feeling.

After Adam and Eve sinned, God said that there would be enmity between the woman and Satan. Now I know that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy both man and woman. But I agree with what John Eldridge wrote in his book "Captivating" that it is obvious Satan has a special hatred for woman. (She is a life-giver whereas he comes to kill; she is God's most beautiful creation whereas he once was and in his pride fell...)

Just look at women in history and notice how women are still treated in many parts of the world today.


My friend Heather captured this amazing shot of the sunrise. I have never seen anything like this. God is just so awesome and beautiful.


When we look at Jesus, we have seen God's heart and character. Jesus cared deeply about women and loved them tenderly. Even more proof of God's heart toward women lies in his commands to their husbands. God told husbands to "love" their wives, "cherish and nourish" them, "honor" them, and "live with them in an understanding way."

Yes, that's our God. He loves. He cherishes. He honors. He understands. He created a woman's vulnerable, tender, and feminine heart and so He knows what we need. He wants our husbands to care for us the way we so desire to be cared for; that is why He told them exactly how to do so.

But each man has his own will. If he chooses to disobey God...there is still Someone with outstretched arms waiting to hold us. God Himself. He will cherish us. He will nourish us. He understands and honors us.

In His precious word, He has said that a godly wife is her husband's crown. He has said that she is more valuable than rubies. He has said that such a wife is from the Lord Himself and a man who finds such a wife obtains favor from the Lord. And He has said that a woman with the inner beauty of trust is very precious to Him:) Why did He include all these affirmations for wives in the Bible? The same is not listed for husbands. I will leave that question in the air and let my readers ponder the answer. I think there a few possible reasons.

God loves women so gently. He knows the value of a godly wife. Any woman, any wife, who is hurting out there- run into the arms of the only One who will never fail you, who loves you enough to write those affirming and tender words in His book to all mankind. God has created within you a heart that is soft, vulnerable, warm and open. A feminine heart that reflects His own character. Lean on Him when it is hurt and fight the battle by not allowing your heart to become hard and cold and bitter. Let God into the pain to replace it with His love and care for you, His woman.

Lean on God and then lean some more. He is right there waiting to hold you.

Scriptures that speak of how God sees you and how He loves you:

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For she is more precious than rubies." (Proverbs 31:10)

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband..."(Proverbs 12:4)

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22)

"A prudent wife is from the Lord." (Proverbs 19:14)

Ephesians 5-
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

1 Peter 3:7
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

1 Peter 3:4
"...the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."


Mommy said...

Thanks Esther! You have NO IDEA how much I needed to hear these encouraging words today in paticular. For some reason I am feeling very varnerable (sp?) Nothing in paticular causing these feelings. Just a piety party I guess of feeling like no one really likes me for "me". I prayed specifically for God to "LOVE" on me today.

1st thing that happened. Tiny Boy came and gave me a hug spontainously, patting my back and saying, "Mommy!" in a tender way. I was combing Bean's hair when he did this. Nothing to cause it.

2nd thing that happened. I went to MOPS today, and the theme was "House of Mirrors" and how "GOD" sees us.

3rd thing that happened, there was a verse posted on the board in MOPS Psalm 45:11, go look it up.;-)

4th thing, you wrote that piece in your blog.

coienceidence? I don't think so!

God is good isn't He?

And check out my blog and what I listed as what I am thankful for today.

Esther Ruth said...

Oh is surely not a coincidence at all! Praise the Lord for His love! Oh I know that scripture so well! I was actually thinking about it as I wrote my blog...have been thinking about it often lately.

Truly though, your vulnerability is not bad. It is one of God's character qualities that He has put in woman. He understood how you were feeling and that is why He showed you His love the way you needed to see it:)

Amy said...

Hi E!

I read this and have been pondering all that you said.. I am so sorry for your friend.. and I am sure that you know more than one woman who is in a hard situation with a man. You are so compassionate... love that about you.

I REALLY struggle with how alot of husbands treat their wives... I think you and I have really great men, not perfect, just like I am waaaay not perfect, but they are men who love well, and want to love well. They are men that WANT to grow and do what is right by us. You know? They "try"... most men won't "try"... and that just sends me! I cannot even tell you!

I do think that women need to know they are not helpless victims tho. There is such a confusing message in the church about what "submission" means... such confusion of what a woman's role is in a marriage. No woman has to take a man treating her wrongly, abusively, disrespectfully. There are such things as boundaries. A really really great book is called "Boundaries" and "Boundaries for Marriage" by Henry Cloud. Awesome read!

No person, man or woman, has to be treated badly... nope! Jesus had the best boundaries I think.. He was who He was made to be, and NOBODY stopped that. Not even death.

One instance and I will complete this book I seem to be writing..he he..lalalala... ok... we had a time, and you KNOW when this was,,,cough cough.. anywho, when in our marriage, my honey was REALLY depressed... but what came with that was major major negative talk... not hurtful towards me, but it just set such a frustrated, angry and negative atmosphere in our home. I put up with it for awhile, but then I just couldn't take it anymore. So I went and spoke with a marriage counselor.. and what she said released me... She simply said, "Amy, you do not have to listen to it. First you need to let him know there are some rules changing. Let him know that you cannot listen to the negative talk... and if he starts up again, you have to leave the room. And then she said, if it happens, you have to follow through. She said, leave the house if you have to... take the kids and go.. not meanly, just matter of factly." Best advice ever! And fortunately I didn't have to actually do it. I told my honey and that was enough for him. It actually caused him to get some help for himself and of course, we had some great heart to hearts.

But that is just an example of a boundary, you know??

Loved this post! You are such a precious friend to your friend!

Hugs.. Amy

And my book is officially done :P~~~

Esther Ruth said...

I agree with all you wrote Amy:) Thanks for giving the examples- VERY important truths you spoke:)

lisi said...

like sarah groves writes, 'loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing'...
thank you, esther, for sharing your heart about this tender and beautiful relationship... it is a mystery, and slowly our father shows us how clearly it's defined, and how much he loves this two becomes one doing; bride and groom; relational, like with jesus.. ahh... thanks for your thoughts and for all that god is placing in your spirit, esther~
oh! thanks for the link that you mentioned for your blog~ :-)

love you, lis

Loving A Person
by Sara Groves and Gordon Kennedy

Loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it


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