Sisters. Does this prick you the way it totally did me? Read it again. Now, consider its truth.
Through obedience of my children’s souls, there came a true humility to my own. That humility has lead me to accept simplicity in God’s plan, His will, His intention for me. I read Titus 2 and know beyond any convincing or debating or demanding by humanity that God instructs older women to teach younger women things of being a woman. So this simplicity has caused me to self reflect and to come to an understanding that some “things” I hold precious or important or even once accepted as truth must change. See, through the truths taught to me simply from God’s word and not from human wisdom, have caused a choice. I have been shown from His word that so many choices I have made have been made outside of Him. Unknowingly I might claim…ignorance for sure…acceptance of human tradition or pattern or teaching…because that’s what I was told to do…whatever “excuse” I may use will not hold water for when I am asked by Him “Why did you do ________ when you came to an understanding that it was NOT what I wanted from you?” Just picture that scene. I do. I mean, I have a whole list of questions for Him. Like, “how did You deal with Judas?” and “what’s up with not making me a man?” and “why in the world did You create mosquitoes?!!” And yet no answer He gives me for these will be of ANY importance right?! But what about my answer. What about the defense I try to muster up for the WHY that He demands of me? A simple question. Why? There’s a popular hymn that causes one to think “what will your answer be?”
So. “Don’t go outside of obeying GOD to get something because you will HAVE to stay outside of God to keep it.” really caused me to admit that I was/am guilty of this. I have gone outside of God/His word/His authority to do what I want to do. In His name of course, because come on…we as “Christian” women in today’s world just do not outright rebel. We do what we want to do and claim that that is what God wants too…we can quote some big time scripture and back them up with some fantastic explanations that have taken us about 3.6 minutes to memorize. We have the highlights set on automatic…”I do ____ because of ____!” Our answers are quick, proud, with extreme confidence and we spout off exactly what we have been fed.
How many of us women have ever been willing to be taught instead of being the teacher? How many of us have ever wanted to be lowly, submissive, obedient, silent? How many of us desire to be the woman of God’s plan over the woman of our own desires/fulfillment/understanding? How many of us are selfish in the kingdom yet claiming selflessness the whole time? Better yet, how many of us have ever questioned what we SO PROUDLY claim to KNOW? I cannot answer for anyone other than myself…and I KNOW that I have been guilty of “leaning on my own understanding.” Pitiful. Sad. Playing the role of a Christian woman and yet NAILING the role of a hypocrite. Which I am pretty sure just disgusts Jesus. That’s what I gather anyway. And for heaven’s sake…I don’t want to disgust Him, any longer.
We -my husband and myself- had come to the understanding we had gone outside of God in making some of our decisions. And we knew that we would have to stay outside of Him to stay true to those decisions. One specific area was in my role in God’s kingdom. We had been blindly following, in good conscience, a humanistic understanding of my role. It made sense. It worked. It was productive. It was accepted. Everyone was on board. There was an universal agreement that THIS was obedience to God’s plan. It was easy. It was liked and pretty and fun and smiled upon. Every single Christian we knew agreed to this way. So the right thing to do was to just continue in it right?! Surely if all the good and honest and strong and faithful Christians were doing this it MUST be right!! And yet…the “but…’s” just could not be shaken. So, “seek and you shall find” became a promise we held Him to fulfill.
So, a journey of study began. Individually and collectively we studied His word. We relied on His word. We sought His word. We began looking to Jesus and The Holy Spirit’s message with the intent to obey THAT! We stripped away all preconceived ideas and all patterns and all accepted “truths” that had been preached to us for years and years and years. And THIS is when our lives were (to steal another’s writers words–Jen Hatmaker) “Interrupted.” When we began listening to HIM over the wisdom of people, what we began to hear was truth. His truth. THE truth. And so began the recognition of choices made outside of obeying God that we now would have to CHOOSE to continue outside of Him to keep. And it was like taking our hands and doing the up and down version of weighing the two. THIS over here is what GOD HIMSELF says…this over here is what these people are saying…hmmmmm, what to do what to do. Are you kidding me? I mean, THIS is what we do. It sounds ridiculous and I am willing to guarantee that some of you will think “oh no, not me, I never ever do that!” when in fact we ALL do. We are born and trained to believe “a way” — “a teaching” — “a denominational pattern” — and we seldomly if EVER question what we are taught. We just do it. We believe it. We practice it. We defend it. We even teach it to others and tell them they are wrong if they are not doing it, believing it, practicing it, defending it. And let me interject here and say that IF we are trained in God’s way, teachings, and patterns then when we do question them, we will find that our way, teachings, and patterns are in line with His. BUT what do we do when we find out they are NOT??!
Hence this post. Hence the calling to think. Women we are being taught and trained and programmed to believe all this stuff that most of is NOT what God has said but what we as humans want God to say. We twist and turn and pervert and change what IS to what we think it IS. Hmmmm, seems like somewhere I have read about leaning on our own understanding….and being proud in ourselves…and directing our own steps…and doing what is right in our eyes…so, we/I rely on God. We are searching diligently for truth. And once we understand through prayer and seeking, we obey. Simple –spiritually, it’s so simple. Physically…it’s so not simple. It’s hard. It’s heartbreaking. It’s controversial. It’s angered people. Many many people have turned away from us and no longer socialize with, fellowship with, or recognize us as saved in His kingdom. We are “in error” to them and therefore they understand that they must pull away from us. We understand this thinking. We knew this would be the outcome. We saw it in scripture that THIS is the result of truly obeying. Physically it’s hard. Jesus knows that too. Spiritually it’s worth it. Jesus proved that.
I am a woman submitting to my Lord and Master’s will for me in being submissive, and obedient, and silent when commanded to be, submitting to the authority that He has placed in my husband as my head, and choosing to obey Him over men. I am a woman who loves her God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. I am a woman who is learning what that REALLY means. And in that, learning more and more of what it means to love my neighbor as myself. I am a woman committed to obeying His clear and undeniable commands to teach younger women the things of being a woman. I am learning to choose Him over me. Learning to listen to commands over wants. Trying my best in sacrificing over fulfilling desires. I try. I fail. I repent. Beg for forgiveness. I try again. I succeed. I fail. The pattern will more than likely repeat for the course of my life. But I now know, through a continuation to study, that when I make choices to go outside of obeying God to get something…I have to stay there to keep it. And I just do not like outside of Him. It’s scary out there. I want to be “All In!!” Inside of Him by obeying His word.
I pray for courage to let go of any “thing” I gained outside of obeying Him. I pray for pride to not be what drives me. I pray for strength in enduring the “persecution.” I pray for all of my sisters, ones I know and those I don’t, to be ruled by humility. I pray for wisdom in loving my husband and children. I pray for time to become all that He wants me to become. I pray for understanding of my role in His kingdom and then courage to do just that, no more/no less.
I just LOVE quotes that make me think.
Hope you enjoy reading my thoughts.