Sober Up!

Have you ever been jarred out of sleep by a disturbing nightmare that you couldn’t shake?  Maybe of someone you love dying and it just felt so real, that you were obsessively thinking about it all day long?

How about this scenario: You get into an argument with your husband or friend, and go on an emotional tirade and spew a lot of things you deeply regret later, but can never be unheard by your loved one.

Maybe you’re unapologetically unfiltered. What you see is what you get, and you have no problem letting people know exactly what’s on your mind!

  • Obsessive worrying
  • Obstinate pride
  • Overbearing anger
  • Overwhelming grief
  • Irrational fear
  • Insatiable lust
  • Incessant envy

If any of these strike a chord, and characterize your life, you need to learn to be sober.  

Being sober is the first thing that the aged women are to teach the younger women in Titus 2:3-5.  It’s first because it’s so very important. Without this sober mind, she can’t properly do all that she’s instructed to do in the rest of the passage, because her thinking is carnal, and tainted by the world, the flesh, and the devil.

In Titus 2:4 -The word “sober” is the Greek word sophronizo, meaning to make of a sound mind, discipline or correct. This word comes from the Greek word sophron, which means safe, sound in mind, self-controlled, moderate as to opinion or passion, and temperate.

The aged women have to correct the younger women’s thinking because a sober mind is not something a woman naturally possesses. Ephesians 4:23 and Romans 12:2 both speak to renewing our minds.  If our minds were okay with God then he wouldn’t have given us these commands!

~Ephesians 4:23~ And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

We have to filter our trials, temptations, tests, and every thought through scripture.

In every temptation of your flesh to just be the same woman you always have, or handle the trials the same old way, or give into your fleshly cravings for sin like your friends are doing, pray for the Spirit’s power and the word’s filtering, and be sober. 

~1Peter 4:7~ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

A sober woman is in control of her thoughts, emotions, and actions.  She is circumspect, aware, and alert to the enemy. An unsober woman is foolish and caught up in her feelings.

A foolish woman is characterized in scripture as:

  1. Contentious and angry. Proverbs 21:19
  2. Shameful. Proverbs 12:4
  3. Loud and stubborn. Proverbs 7:11
  4. Thoughtless. Proverbs 11:22
  5. Destructive. Proverbs 14:1

A foolish woman impairs the body of Christ.  They’re unstable and unfaithful, emotional women, who are marked by sins of the tongue-flattery, gossip, slander, and lying. They’re contentious. They hinder the gospel of Christ from going forth and the mission of God from being accomplished.  You don’t want to be this woman! 

That’s why discipleship the Titus 2 way is so imperative to the health of the body of Christ. A mature and godly woman taking another woman under her wing and teaching her with her life and her words, using scripture as the absolute authority for every issue she faces, is biblical discipleship. Without these discipleship relationships within the body, foolishness abounds, contention and chaos never cease, women rally for roles they’re not equipped or called to. Without women teaching women, the structure gets out of order.  We cannot afford to forsake this integral part of the local New Testament Church, as laid out in the book of Titus.

A sober woman isn’t without feelings, she doesn’t suppress her emotions.  She renews her mind with the truth of scripture and that in turn modifies her emotional responses to be in line with God’s will and his word.  God gave us emotions so that we can really experience life, and be empathetic in ministry.  Without emotions we’d be robots, so they’re necessary, but we have to be taught how to control them so that they don’t control us.

Whatever we allow to dominate our mind will dictate our mouth, manners, and ministry.

Sometimes there are physical reasons why our emotions get all out of whack- hormones, lack of sleep, sickness, chronic pain. Those times can really make it hard to be sober.  So we need to be patient and understanding with each other, our daughters, and disciples.  Freely give grace as you have freely received it, and pray her through those times where her body has hijacked her senses.

Being sober is learning how to renew your mind so that you can be emotionally stable and spiritually strong.

It’s a moment by moment, day by day way of thinking. A state of mind that can change based on how much time you spend in the word, and how surrendered to the Spirit you are. It’s having a filtered and focused mind.

Even if we are foolish, unfiltered, and driven by our feelings right now, that doesn’t mean we’re destined to be this way forever.  I was that woman I described above.  If God can transform me and renew my mind, he can do the same for you! You can be sober, and in the next post I’ll teach ya how!

~Romans 12:2~ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

 

Squash the Mom Guilt

Have you ever thought about all you should’ve done differently in raising your kids?

Or been visiting with a friend with well-behaved, well-dressed, or wildly successful children while yours look and act like they belong in the wild?

How about when you lose your temper, forget a parent-teacher conference, or can’t afford those new shoes they want so badly?

That feeling that washes over you… it’s mom guilt. 

That’s what I wrote about in this contributor post for Virtuous Mama Ministries! If you’re a mom- you need to read that post and follow their ministry, you’ll be glad you did!

Please share with your mom friends as well, so more women can find freedom from “mom guilt”!

Here’s the link to their website and my article “Squash the Mom Guilt”:

 https://www.virtuousmama.org/squash-mom-guilt/

You can also find Virtuous Mama Ministries on several social media outlets, using the links at the bottom of their website.

“I’m a Fool!” Wisdom from Proverbs

Wisdom from the Proverbs

I distinctly remember the shame I felt when the realization struck me, and I had to honestly and humbly admit- I’m a fool. To spill the beans on this is contrary to my natural tendency to conceal and deal privately with the Lord on the issues of my heart.  But in order to help women to walk in the wisdom of God’s word daily, I have to divulge how I obtained wisdom in various areas of my life.

It was early on in my walk with Jesus.  By my standards I was a great wife. I cooked, cleaned, and cared for my family.  Yet I was harboring bitterness and unforgiveness. Carrying the baggage of the past around like a ton of bricks, constantly pointing out my husband’s flaws, and nagging him to be a Christ-like husband and father.  

Without a sober mind or a submissive will, I dug in my heels and set myself in array against my husband as public enemy number one.

I was so self-deceived.

Painful as it was, allowing the Lord to reveal my true character according to his word was necessary to my spiritual maturity, and the strength of my marriage.  

The Lord had placed a deep desire within me to be a godly woman, but I had no idea what that meant, so I began to study it out.  Popping off the page were the role and responsibilities of a wife in Ephesians 5 and Titus 2, and the character and conduct of the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31.  God started to highlight key verses contrasting the wise and the foolish, unveiling a godly woman as a wise woman.

~Proverbs 2:6~ For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

The result of that time mining the scriptures was a broken and contrite heart, and my pride was crushed to the point of repentance.

The Wise Woman:

Virtuous~ Proverbs 31:10-31.  Her virtue originates from her fear of the Lord, and it’s the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) It’s her relationship with God that fills her up and gives her the strength, honor, and ability to minister so well.  The verses that really convicted me were 11-12~ The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.  Consumed with myself, I was definitely not loving my husband well, or doing him good. How about you?

  • Can you say that you do your husband good and not evil? 
  • Would your husband agree?

EdifyingProverbs 14:1~ Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.  Piece by piece my marriage and family was being further destroyed by my foolish behavior. Instead of pointing out the things my husband was doing well, and being thankful, I focused on the things that he didn’t do.  I wasn’t shy about voicing my discontentment.  My thinking was that if I didn’t tell him, how would he know, and how would anything change? 

What the Lord taught me was that all I really needed to do was pray, and leave my husband in God’s hands.  I started reading The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian, and my mindset toward him began to change.  The more you pray for someone the more you love them, and this book definitely helped me to love my husband better and build my house.  It’s a must read!

  • Do you regularly pray for your husband?

The Foolish Woman:

Clamorous~ Proverbs 9:13~ A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.  Ouch.  I had to admit that I was a trying and tumultuous woman, and I didn’t know it all.  That one hurt because I like to know what I’m talking about.  I like to be right, and honestly, before I studied this all out I was oblivious to my foolishness and thought I was right.  I justified my attitude and actions based on my husband’s behavior.  

  • Does drama seem to follow you wherever you go?
  • Are you the kind of woman who’s always in an uproar about one thing or another?
  • Have you decided that you’ll be a virtuous wife when he starts being a godly husband?

Contentious~ Proverbs 21:9~ It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. 19~It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.  Proverbs 25:24~ It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.  Lack of trust in his leadership, and my need for control made me an angry and argumentative woman. The Lord showed me that I was really lacking faith in His ability to lead our family, take care of our every need, and mold both of us into Christ-like servants.  It was a heart problem and a faith issue.

Continual DroppingProverbs 19:13~ A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.  Proverbs 27:15-16~ A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.  Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, which bewrayeth itself.   The incessant nagging grated on my husband’s nerves like a leaky roof dripping into a bucket below. It never accomplished a thing.  It just provoked his pride and made him defiant to do anything I asked.  

  • Do you have a control problem?
  • Are you angry and argumentative?
  • Do you nag your husband? 

~Proverbs 16:32~ He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Faced with the reality of my sinful condition I confessed, repented, and purposed to love my husband biblically- with a sober mind and submissive spirit, allowing him to lead our family, and cultivating love and peace in his heart and our home.

My husband is now a godly man who loves Jesus, and preaching God’s word.  He’s faithful, he’s a family man, he’s a really hard worker, and he loves me like Jesus does.  He’s got his role and responsibilities down, and has for several years.  He wasn’t changed by my nagging.

It was the power of the Holy Spirit, through the word of God, spending time with godly men, and going to marriage retreats together that transformed him.  I have the husband I prayed for.  And all glory goes to God alone!

While I don’t see “I’m a fool!” on the bios of any women these days, and I doubt it’ll make it on a t-shirt, the truth is written on their heart, and worn in their attitude and actions.

~Proverbs 12:4~ A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

A crown or a cancer… you choose.