I’ve mentioned before that I am currently writing a Bible study for teenage girls. This month, I am persevering through to finish it and move forward with how God chooses to use it. Here is an excerpt for your enjoyment (and potential feedback for the study). This part comes from the chapter on Humility, from the study Delight: a Joyful Discovery of Biblical Womanhood. (Note that a delight is a woman of God, in the context of the study.) Thank you for reading… enjoy!
Imagine a different kind of Princess movie sequel to Disney’s Tangled:
Rapunzel woke up early as usual. She had been married to her good-looking husband, for a few months now, and it was wonderful. They lived in their own little cottage near the castle; close enough to her parents she was now reunited with, but still their own place. She wandered outside and enjoyed a nice cup of tea in the morning sunshine. She chatted cheerfully with some older gentlemen on their way to work in the fields. A few minutes later, she started writing an encouraging letter to her parents. Glancing over her shoulder, she noticed a squirrel struggling to reach an acorn. She gently knocked it down for him then whistled her way back inside her home.
Then she saw it. Her husband Eugene, had failed to shave again! Ever since her hair stopped being able to grow, she couldn’t stand the sight of any hair growing, even stubble on her husbands chin. “One little thing I ask, Flynn,” Rapunzel chided, purposefully using Eugene’s alias from his robbery-days, “just shave before I see you in the morning, is that so hard!?”
She carried on about how rude he was and inconsiderate of her feelings. After living so long with a woman who pretended to be her mother, and bossed her around incessantly, now it was Rapunzel’s turn for freedom. Her husband often asked her to look after the garden, help in the kitchen, or sometimes even just sit with him and read in front of the fire. But Rapunzel was her own person, and she was going to do her own thing.
While you will rarely witness a nagging session like this in a children’s movie about princesses and little squirrels and acorns; in reality, it happens all the time. A woman of humility must learn the value of submission. The word “submission” is another “nails on the chalkboard” word to many people. Some ladies associate it with being a “doormat” or never having an opinion of their own. Others feel that obedience means “being controlled.” As daughters of God, we must trust that God set up the idea of submission because He knows it is what is best for us! Submitting to authority means that a woman follows, obeys, and commits to a person or standard with humility. In the Bible we are commanded to submit to our family authorities (parents), the government, the church, and our husbands:
“Older women are to… encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.” (Titus 2:3-5)
Though you may not be married yet, one of the main purposes of this study is to prepare you for biblical womanhood, including being a wife someday. God’s design of marriage is so much more special than the relationship of a daughter with her parents, or a woman to the government. That is why the idea of submission must be more valued and cared for within a husband-wife relationship.
God designed marriage to be a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church (read Ephesians 5:21-33). When a woman disrespects, or disobeys her husband, she is painting a picture of God’s people disrespecting or disobeying Christ. The role of a wife is so much more than just being a help-meet to her husband; we get to share the story of the gospel through our very actions in relation to our husbands. A woman like Rapunzel at the beginning of this lesson paints a picture of God’s people who nag, and roll their eyes, and don’t appreciate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. That is how “God’s message is slandered;” when we disregard our husbands, we disregard the picture we are painting of Christ and the church.
A delight can practice being a woman of humility to the people around her, but as a wife it is crucial that she strive to be submissive even more, for the sake of her witness of Christ.
Lucky for us, being submissive is absolutely NOT being an opinion-less door mat who cleans and cooks and massages her husband’s stinky feet every night (though that can be an excellent practice of humility).
When I think of the word “submit,” I think of turning in a paper that is due in English class. When I “submit” my paper, it becomes the teacher’s. When I turn myself in to my husband, I become his. I am under his protection, guidance, and fellowship. I line up my desires and goals with his. A Christian wife can represent God’s people well when she submits to her husband, even if he may not be representing Christ well in his actions. God uses such humility and submission in great ways:
“In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the [Christian] message, they may be won over without a message by the way their wives live… For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming.” (1 Peter 3:1, 5, 6)
A woman of humility prays for her husband instead of nags him. A delight even prays for him even before she meets him, submitting herself to God first, and secondly to the man He has prepared for her.
Rapunzel did well as a woman of humility to the lowly, her authorities, even animals. But the true test of humility towards others lies in how a lady treats her husband, regardless of his shaving habits.
- Have you seen Tangled? What is your favorite part?
- Can you think of 3 people you are called by God to submit to at this point in your life?
- How can you work on being humble in your relationship with those people?
Share your ideas by commenting below!
Its just a couple days till 2013! One way I have been preparing for the newness of the year is by cleaning. It was a little early to take down our tree, but I accidentally killed it (turns out a Christmas tree needs water every day.) So Shane and I dragged the forest out of our home and I have been busy picking pine needles out of my carpet and couch cushions. Never been much of a cleaner, but the sense of newness hanging in the air drives me to pick up a scrub brush. (Not to mention, my brother-in-law and his perfectly lovely girlfriend are coming to visit, and I’m sure they’d like to sit on a couch that didn’t resemble a porcupine.)
Cleaning is also a great reminder to pray. Read on for the final installment of 5 Active Prayers for your Husband:
Intercession while cleaning your house:
This active prayer is more personal than directly related to your husband. I have this idea that a proper husband desires a clean and orderly home, with dinner on the table and pie in the oven. While this is not the reality for most women, home-making is an art that is often lost in the busyness of today. I had this great expectation that I would be a master home-maker by our 1st year anniversary….
But I did learn a valuable lesson. My husband does not desire a warm and welcoming house and much as he longs for a warm and welcoming wife. He said to me once, “Becky, you are my home.” I realized that all the time I spent stressing about vacuums and windex, getting the enchiladas just right, and designing and decorating the home was coming from a good heart, but a misplaced direction.
Because if I burnt the enchiladas or left the vacuum out when my husband got home, I felt worthless. My self-esteem crashed and I spent the night pouting about my failure as a home-maker. What my husband truly desires was a wife who had a clean heart, not a clean house. He wants to come home to a warm embrace, not always a warm plate. I resolved to praying for my husband while cooking or cleaning, focusing God’s work within me, not just my work within the home.
I pray for humility and warmth to welcome my husband with the heart of a Godly woman. I ask God to prepare my heart, my mind, and my body to be available to minister to my husband in the few evening hours I get to spend with him in the work week.
Preparing our home, and my heart, through prayer makes my husbands home-coming so much more pleasant for the both of us.
Try praying this for yourself, and your husband: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Psalms 51:10-12)
Well, there you have it, 5 ways to actively (and hopefully with less distraction) pray for your husband. I hope that it renews your intimacy with the Lord and in your marriage.
Yesterday I posted 2 ways that I am working toward actively praying for my husband. I believe there is power in prayer, and that talking to God draws you more intimately in both your relationship with Him, and with your husband. Unfortunately, I have this incurable syndrome known as highly distract….. sorry, I had to check facebook.
Anyway, here are a couple more ideas that keep me focused while I am praying for my husband.
I’ve never been so lucky to pray for my husband. Back rubs, scalp massages, or full body massages are great ways to focus on specific areas to pray for your man. I like giving foot rubs and praying for him to have “feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15) I pray the rest of armor of God for my husband while gently massaging the corresponding area (helmet of salvation=scalp massage, etc.)
I also pray protection over my husband. I rub his ears (it really does release tension) and pray for protection over what he hears. In a world of sarcasm, rumors, gossip, explicit songs on the radio in public places, cutting remarks, and false teaching, what my husband hears can deeply affect his resolve to be a man of God. I know the enemy is firing darts at my husband, so I pray protection over him. I do the same with his hands, feet, heart, and eyes (though I don’t recommend you massage your man’s eyes).
There are times I have prayed for 30 minutes or more, at which time my husband is usually drooling. You would think I’d be exhausted, but I can’t seem to stop praying. I thank God for the unique ways He created my husband. While I rub his shoulders, I praise God for making him into the strong leader of our family. While scratching his back, I thank God for giving him a strong back-bone and the courage to please God and not man.
Finally, my prayers end with the request for peace that lasts longer than a relaxing back massage: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [my husband’s] heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).
I always pray silently, but my husband knows I am praying for him. It might mean the world to your husband to hear your prayers for him, or he might just appreciate the quiet stillness of God’s work on his heart while you work on his muscles.
I love to walk, especially if it is nice outside. Our little puppy is 1 now, and very energetic, so I find myself taking more walks regardless of the weather. It is a good time to get away from the to-do list, the tv, and the “demands” of facebook. I enjoy praying as I walk; walking is a good metaphor for my relationship with God.
It also gives me more prayer material for my husband. I pray for him to have a walk that looks like these verses:
That my my husband would walk in wisdom, which brings safety and peace:
Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. (Proverbs 28:26)
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding… Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. (Proverbs 3:13, 17)
I pray he might walk in obedience to the Lord, receiving the blessing of God and freedom in doing so:
Blessed are all who fear the Lord , who walk in obedience to him. (Psalm 128:1)
I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. (Psalm 119:44, 45)
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 1:6)
And that my husband would enjoy an intimate, day by day, step by step, walk with our Savior:
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (Leviticus 26:12)
Check back tomorrow for Idea #5 in actively praying for your husband…
The new year is just around the corner, which makes now a great time to get into a better habit of praying for my husband. I’ve noticed quite a few fantastic guides for “praying for your husband” on pinterest lately. Unfortunately, I am easily distracted from dutifully keeping up with these prayers.
So, I decided to incorporate a few ideas of my own to actively pray for my husband. Each activity keeps me engaged and focused; I truly treasure connecting with God in this way, and growing in my marriage at the same time! In sharing these ideas, I hope to encourage other young (or seasoned) wives to become consistent prayer warriors for their men.
So here they are, 5 Active Prayers for your Husband, Parts 1-2:
1. Work-out Prayer time:
I don’t work out as consistently as I should, but when I do, I find myself praying. Most of the time I pray for the fat to be gone (to the glory of God, of course, ahem). Sometimes, I focus more deeply on praying for God to strengthen me according to His will.
Recently, I began praying the same thing for my husband. As my muscles start to burn, I am reminded to pray for God to strengthen my husband’s spiritual muscles… To give him resolve and courage to do what is right every day. I pray for his strength in our marriage and as the head of our family. I pray to accept God’s help and training when a trial comes, that it might strengthen our dependence on Him.
I put the weights down and ask the Lord to help my husband to let go of the burdens he was not meant to carry; I pray that my husband would trust completely in the Lord throughout his everyday routine.
At the gym, try praying this for your husband: to be “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that [he] may have great endurance and patience.” (Colossians 1:11 NIV)
Text/Write him prayers
I keep a journal with letters to my husband. He often writes back with small notes or texts. Now there are days where I write to God in that journal about my husband. Again, it gives me something tangible to do which helps me focus. Writing prayers also keeps record of how God has answered them and grown our marriage through the years!
I also try to text my husband at key points during the day, letting him know that his wife is interceding on his behalf. I try to pay attention to when he has meetings, deadlines, and busy days at work, and I pray for God to grant him favor within his career.
You could also try leaving notes in his car, leaving a prayer on his voicemail, or emailing your prayers: “Let the peace of Christ rule in [my husband’s] heart, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:15, 17 NIV)
Check back tomorrow for ideas #3-4 in actively praying for your husband…
On Husbands and Hobbits: an Unexpected Journey
Today is my husband’s Birthday.
In honor of this incredible man, born just a week short of Christmas Eve, I would like to bring light to another significant husband in the Bible:
Joseph was an ordinary man, a carpenter who daily worshipped God in his work. Like many people, Joseph may have had expectations for his life. But God had other plans for him.
In many ways, Joseph’s story reminds me of the plot in Peter Jackson’s retelling of The Hobbitl.
Biblo also had plans to live a quiet simple life and enjoy the peace of his little home. Assisting a bunch of dwarves in a journey that would certainly change his life (not necessarily for the better), was not a welcome prospect. Yet eventually, we willingly stepped out his front door.
Joseph’s plan to get married, live a quiet life in a small town, and raise a simple family with Mary, was also slightly altered to say the least. God stepped in and asked Joseph to marry a woman whose reputation would always be stained with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy. God asked Joseph to bear his own reputation as the gullible man who fell for her trickery, claiming that the Holy Spirit conceived the child in her. In all wisdom and divine authority, God gave Joseph the opportunity to step out of the simple, and step into the reckless but redemptive plan of the most High God.
And Joseph did.
“And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:24-25)
Joseph was faithful to raise a Son who was not his own, probably at the scoffing of many. But that Son would one day save the world…. because Jesus was conceived by God, He did live the life of a man veiled in flesh, and He did die the death that I deserved so that I could live the (everlasting) life I couldn’t earn!
Joseph chose a painful obedience; knowing this baby would one day “save His people from their sins” through His own death and sacrifice would not have been easy. (Matthew 1:21) Nor could hearing the remarks of family and friends, the discouragement from co-workers, seeing the raised eye-brows from clients for his carpentry… yet Joseph obeyed.
Not only did he obey at the beginning, but Joseph obeyed through the whole process. He fathered Jesus; he taught Jesus how to use a hammer. Joseph did the day-to-day mysteries to honor God, provide for his wife, and raise God’s Son.
As Gandalf says of Biblo: “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
It is these men, and specifically these husbands, that make all the difference in the world and, as Gandalf says again, “gives me courage.”
My dad is also an obedient carpenter. His unexpected journey brought him a wife and 3 daughters and way too much estrogen in one home. But he maintained the day-by-day faithfulness to nurture us all into godly women.
My father-in-law is also a man who worked with his hands, as a roofer; he too obeyed God by raising a godly man who would one day be my husband. On this day, 25 years ago, they took up the responsibility as Joseph did, not knowing what raising Shane would be like, or if God would fashion this son into their hearts desire. Through the ups and downs, God does prove to be faithful….
Like his father and like mine, like Joseph and Jesus too (who spent 30 years also honoring God in the everyday activities), Shane is a man who is faithful in the little things. He loves me daily in ways I will never know. He is strong and courageous to share the love of God with others. He is honorable in his work. He provides for our family and I know he will make an amazing father someday (but not quite yet.)
Shane makes the mystery of Christ evident in his daily manner. He honors God daily in whatever he does… “in word or deed, [doing] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
I praise the Lord for Godly men (and hobbits) who work day in and day out, stay faithful to the Lord, love their wives, and provide for their families both physically and spiritually… no matter how unexpected the journey.
Please watch Mark Driscoll’s excellent sermon on this subject, from which God encouraged me greatly with these thoughts today.
Shane and Becky’s Year of Adventures
Greetings and Welcome, Family and Friends!
We are so moved to worship during this Christmas season, both to celebrate Christ’s birth and to thank God for the abundance of His blessings on us thus far.
Here is a recap of our blessed year of adventures in 2012.
This year was the year of TRAVEL! We brought in the New Year singing praises to God in Atlanta, Georgia (of all places). Our former national ministry supporters, the North American Mission Board, provided plane tickets, hotel rooms, and Passion Conference tickets for Shane and I and two students. It was an incredible opportunity for Shane and I both to grow in the Lord along side our students.
For Spring Break we took some BCM students down to Pearl, Mississippi to partner with a church working with ADORABLE inner city kids. VBS style ministry never gets old.
In June we went on the trip of a lifetime to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Door of Hope is a baby-rescue home; we served as volunteers there, providing care, cuddles, and lots of diaper changes for the abandoned babies.
This baby ministry doesn’t get very many male volunteers, so Shane enjoyed a week of hard labor, fixing baby gates, installing heaters, and moving furniture.
Becky was blessed to stay the whole month of June with her close friend Andy, and a former BCM student and now dear friend, Kylinn. The three fell in love 14 times over with each little boy and girl at the home. (Read more about our experience here.)
Glorieta, New Mexico was the next destination. Every year we travel with the Baptist Collegiate Ministries of Wyoming to this collegiate conference. This week provided some much needed refreshment, relaxation, and perspective for the coming semester of ministry.
As always, we have been active in traveling across our beautiful state of Wyoming, blessed to witness all that God is doing here. The BCM retreats, ministry conferences, and wonderful family times keep us on the road and loving it! Entertained by deep conversations and energetic laughter, our many road trips do more to grow our marriage than date nights.
Run…. Forest… Run
Becky started running a bit this year. In the Spring she and Shane flew down to Florida with the Congers (Becky’s family) where Becky, her mom Theresa, and her sister Hannah, all competed in Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon. It was an exhausting but MAGICAL day of running through the parks for 13.1 miles or so…. (it seemed longer). The family bonding time was irreplaceable. The following verse rings truer now than ever before:
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
Becky also ran in the Dirty Dash in Billings with Andy, as well as in a few local races as well. (Never to win, just to finish.)
The every day stuff:
Ok, even though we collectively spent several months away from home this year, there were still plenty of experiences we enjoyed in our little home in Sheridan, WY. Shane and Becky began our 3rd year as directors of Baptist Collegiate Ministries at Sheridan College. God has been so good to us through this opportunity to lead college students to Christ.
Our main focus remains to help students grow closer in their relationship with Christ, whether they have started that relationship yet or not. We do a weekly Bible study with about 20 students on Thursday nights on campus, and a weekly dinner with about 12 students at our house on Sunday nights. Throughout the year we also do events and ministries like the Classy Black Dress Event, Spring conference, missions trips, Fall Retreat, Rake n. Run, movie nights, and an epic Christmas party which we are really looking forward to.
After 2 and a half years, Shane has really expanded his expertise as a minister to officiating a wedding.
In May, Shane officiated his sister marriage; Shane and Becky were also blessed to participate as the “wedding singers.”
In addition to directing a ministry, Shane is still working as a case-manager at NSI, a prep school for troubled youth. His job has provided him with great opportunities to pray for the young men he works with, and sometimes to share his hope in Christ with them. The company is very supportive of Shane’s ministry at the college and has been a blessing in their accommodation of the amount of time we spent out of Sheridan this year.
Becky taught as a substitute teacher for much of the year, and enjoyed getting to know the grade school kids all over the city. In November she resigned from that position and is now focused on writing and doing ladies ministry in the community.
In other (big) news:
We got a puppy!
Meet Mr. Darcy, our miniature Golden-doodle:
This pup brings so much joy throughout each day. It is amazing how much he grown since we got him in February (Mr. Darcy will celebrate his first Birthday this Christmas).
He has learned to sit, lay down, fetch, go to bed, do a Packer’s Touch down dance, and imitate an alligator. We are still working on having him do the laundry, but hey, there is always next year.
Also this year, we started building a house!
Becky’s dad, along with both Shane and Becky’s families, have undertaken the process to help build a home for the Rostys.
We are blessed to establish a firm foundation (both physically and spiritually) in Sheridan. We hope to move in by next Christmas, so we anticipate the coming summer to be many hours of house-raising. (Our pup thinks he can help too).
We also started a community worship band with several new friends in the Sheridan area.
Representing several different churches and denominations, we come together weekly to worship God together. We have led worship and performed a few times at various events and have even written a few original songs.
To God be the Glory….
It was a packed year. Overwhelmed with so many blessing from God, we cannot help but write about his goodness and extend our gratitude to Him. We also thank God for each one of you, and would love to hear how Jesus is working in your life.
We learn our lesson from Mr. Darcy this Christmas, to be Blessed (not stressed!) this season. Join us and enjoy each moment to the fullest….
We certainly love to!
Shane and Becky Rosty, and Mr. Darcy