Friday, May 20, 2011

*Update* to A Woman After God's Own Heart

Thanks to a reader comment, I was reminded that I forgot to mention an important note about this book. That’s the audience! If the only thing holding you back from reading this book is that having a husband and children don’t apply to you, then please don’t let that stop you.

As the author says herself, “On many occasions I have had single women write me or introduce themselves at a conference who commented that upon reading the book, they were struck by how little of it actually applied to wives and moms only. They were prepared to feel left out and overlooked. They were delighted to discover that of the 6 priorities addressed, only 2 apply directly to wives and moms. Refreshingly, the remainder of the book applied and spoke to all Christian women. There was plenty of meat for them to chew on and thoughts to ponder!

If you’re single, even the chapters dealing with marriage and parenting can be powerful and helpful tools to prepare you for your future and/or counsel other ladies. You could have countless opportunities to encourage wives and mothers dealing with their problems by simply showing them what the Bible says about their situations and encouraging them to lean on God for help. You may even want to bless them with their own copy of the book. This book is for women in all seasons of life- wives of many years, newlywed wives, single gals, working wives, stay-at-home wives and moms, college-aged girls, grandmothers, etc.- because it draws all of them closer to God.”

I’ll also add that it’s never too early or a bad idea to start thinking about your future husband and children. I started considering my future husband in my dating life and in all my decisions when I was in high school but especially in college. I started reading Christian marriage books for married couples to gain His perspective on marriage and learn helpful advice and tools to making a marriage work by centering it on God’s will. I learned so many things between the age of 17 and when I met my husband at 22 (such as, a marriage can't work if either one of us is relying on the other to make us happy and feel whole. Only God is perfect and can fully satisfy us. He alone can meet all of our needs for love and worth. He alone will never let us down. We need God's presence, help and grace to love and forgive each other. It's inevitable that we'll face problems and it won't turn out well with only 2 in the marriage- God has to be included and at the center of both of our lives. I learned that the primary need in a husband is respect and the primary need in a wife is love/affection. I learned strategies to avoiding areas of conflict or letting sin creep into your marriage. I learned how important praying for each other is, how to communicate, etc..)

It can be overwhelming to wait until you’re in the next season of life before you start preparing for it. Not that we can ever be completely prepared for life by reading books, but it certainly helps to let God use others’ experiences to give us insight. And certainly studying God’s word on marriage (or anything in life for that matter) teaches us ahead of time what to expect and how to prepare our hearts for it. Now that I am married, I’m starting to read and take in information on being a mother even though we’re not planning to have a child for a few years. Throughout the years of living with my future husband in mind, I always relied upon Proverbs 31:12 which says that a godly woman honors her husband all the days of her life and never brings him harm. ALL the days?! That’s a high calling because it means including the days before you meet him choosing to honor him (and his feelings). I took this very seriously and pursued becoming a better woman who lived for God and would be ready to love and honor my future husband when I met him. Now, I’m continuing to take my role as a wife seriously as I also start to think about my future children and preparing my heart and life for them (for ex, reading and studying God’s word so I can teach it to them, trying to eat well and exercise to teach them to live a healthy lifestyle, being involved at church and enjoying it so that they will grow up to as well).

Anyway, it is my hope that you draw closer to God, realizing his unfailing love and endless mercy is available to you, and desiring to be a woman who reflects his love, mercy and character. That’s why I believe this book applies to you!

I met my mother for lunch today and she was able to sum up this book with a better, slightly different, statement than I did so I thought I’d share it with you:

“As a woman, your family is your ministry. With today’s current divorce rate and all the problems our children have, if you’re able to raise your children in love and with the knowledge of God, if you’re able to not only stay with your husband but have a thriving marriage with him, if you’re able to keep your home clean and at peace as a healthy environment for all of them, then you’ve ministered! Not only have you ministered to them - who will go out into the world and minister to others as strong, loving representatives of God- but just showing all the people you encounter what this picture of a family that loves the Lord and each other looks like is a powerful ministry.”

1 comment:

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog after googling something Elizabeth George said in chapter 9 about the role of a mother. I am glad I found your blog because you have some great thoughts. My girlfriends and I are reading this book together and doing a study on it so I have enjoyed reading your blog entries about it. Keep up the good work! I have to say this is one of my favorite books so far. My gfriends and I enjoy doing studies like this iron sharpens iron...if you haven't already read "created to be his helpmeet" by Debi Pearl...RUN don't walk and get that one will rock your a good way. :)