The Excellent Wife: Week 5 Homework

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Is it just me, or is there something about fall weather and just the fall season in general that lights a fire in you to get your act together? Something about it gets me all fired up to win the coziest, “pumpkiniest”, warm and fuzziest home award. This ever cooling, ever changing season also has me geared up and ready to go in the area of budgeting, of fitting into those skinny jeans and of cooking as many pinterest soups as humanly possible. I think that’s why this weeks chapters excited me to the depths of my core. From cleaning up my act in the area of my heart to cleaning up my act in my own home as the homemaker, the tone setter, I am still unpacking all of this truth poured out to us in our time together and loving every minute of it!

As I read off the list of potential things in life that could creep up as idols, what stuck out to you? What was your mind fixed on as I read off that list? To spark your memory, here is the list I read from.

List of Common Idols (“false gods”) Wives may have their Heart set on:

Good Health .  Physical Appearance .  Having a Christian Marriage .  Being Treated Fairly .  Having a Hurt Free/ Pain Free Life . Worldly Pleasures (Drugs, Alcohol, Sex) . A Child or Children .  Another Person (Man or Woman) .  A Material Thing .  An Ideal (“Pro-Life Movement, “Peace Movement”) .  Money .  Success .  Other’s Approval .  Being in Control .  Having your “needs” met

 In your own journal, write out the ones that are speaking to you, the ones that are gripping so close to home in your heart. In what ways do you feel you have put them above the Lord at times (if not at ALL times) in your life?

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(SIDE NOTE: How do you recognize whether you have an idol in your life? Ask yourself : what do you feel controls your emotions, anxieties, worries, thoughts? What do you think about and fixate your mind on more than the Lord? This could be an idol and whatever “it” is, it needs to be dethroned and replaced with the One True God in our lives.)

I want you to spend some time worshiping and listening to this song. As you listen, ask the Lord to remove these idols from your life. Ask Him to do exactly what the lyrics say. To clear your stage. To have His way in your life. This chapter is not just an option for us as daughters of Christ. This chapter is CRUCIAL to our walks with Christ. If we try to continue on from this point with idols STILL in our lives, the excellent way will be absolutely unattainable. Christ MUST have our entire hearts. There’s just no exceptions, ladies! (Where’s the mirror at?!  Because I’m talking STRAIGHT to you Ashleigh Anne Gurley!)

Spend some time looking up and writing down in your journals these verses:

Matthew 22:37-38

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Psalm 19:14

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We went on to discuss how our false idol worship is deadly in the sense that because the idol does not satisfy the longings of our hearts, we then resort to a false “savior” or “refuge” as a source for comfort. Instead of running to the Lord, so often we believe the lie that He is so angry with us. We believe the lie that He wants nothing to do with us because of the mess we’ve made. (And how wrong we are at believing this. Look at the prodigal son. Look at the adulteress woman at the well. The adulteress women who has also thrown into the streets. Looks at the way Jesus put himself among sinners to love them. Man are we wrong at thinking he wants nothing to do with us.) Because we believe this lie, we run to other things that bring temporary comfort, but lead to death. Things that aren’t always in and of themselves wrong.

List of False Saviors and Refuges

Unbiblical view of God (“genie in a bottle obligated to grant your wishes) .  Sex (immorality, pornography, masturbation) . Sleep . Work . Television . Reading . Food . Withdrawing, running away . Clinging to people for comfort . Shopping sprees . Sports . Exercise . Recreation . Hobbies . Ministry as an  Escape . Being busy at church or volunteer activities . Drugs . Alcohol           

                               As you read through the list, write out in your journal what you tend to run to as a source of saving and talk it out with yourself. What about that false savior seems comforting at the time?

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The Lord tells us in Psalms 119 that the one who seeks JESUS with her whole heart? SHE is the one who is blessed. SHE is the one who finds REAL life. When we run to other things? We continue on in the cycle of idol worship as we circle and circle around things that do not satisfy the deepest places in our hearts, in our souls. Only Jesus can truly satisfy that longing. Taste and see the He is GOOD, ladies. We were made for Him. We were made by Him. He is our Daddy and He i what our hearts longing for. It’s his love that our hearts crave. So let’s run to Him. Let’s let His love truly get ahold of our hearts…and watch the change. Watch the transform flourish. He is the key to freedom. He is the key to true heart joy. He is the key to beautiful, innocent, love swept romance. Oh how sweet it is to be loved by Him.  My heart can’t help but crave to worship again at just the thought. I just can’t help myself.  His love is so EVERYTHING, friend. I hope you’ll continue this thought and worship  who He is. I pray that you’ll declare over your own life who He is and who you are because of it.

Spend some time reading the entire chapter of Psalms 119. Yeah. I know it’s long. But if your time allows, trust me. It’s going to be so life giving for you. As you read through slowly, have a pen in hand and begin underlining the words and verses that stick out to you the most. Write about them in your journal as you seek the Lord by spending time with Him in His word.

In regards to our husbands, so often we can have right desires that take a turn for the worst and become wrong, idolatrous, lustful desires when we begin placing them above having the desire to simply honor the Lord with our lives.

Wrong Desires ( if Idolatrous/ Lustful)

That my husband will be affectionate . That he will anticipate my needs without my asking . that he will give me compliments . That he will make me feel special . That he will not hurt my feelings . That he will talk to me and share his thoughts and feelings . That he will put me first .

On the other hand, a wife should have her heart set on…

Right Desires

That I may know God’s word and obey it . That I may delight in Him . That I may seek Him with all of my heart . That I may be pleasing to Him regardless of my circumstances . That I may cultivate an attitude of joy and gratitude in what God is doing in my life no matter what my husband does or does not do . That I may glorify Him the most, that He can use me for His glory.

We are called to think above ourselves, ladies. How challenging in this culture, right? Out of the wrong desires, which ones seem to hit closest to your heart?

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If you feel you are stuck in those wrong desire areas, know that you’re not alone and that there IS hope. As we discipline our minds to set our hearts on Christ, we will see that falling into those right desires becomes more and more easy. It’s the love growing in our hearts for our Jesus that lead us to cultivating those heartfelt desires to live for Him regardless of what’s going on emotionally in our fleshly desires with our husbands. Below are a list of ways to help you grow in this area as we seek to set our minds on heavenly things.

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PART TWO: YOUR CALLING AT HOME

Oh goodness, ladies. This section is where my heart seems to do leaps as we actually dissect what our calling should look like at home. You’ve heard me say a thousand times that it’s the wives who set the tone of their homes and how true is this! How often have you impacted those in your family with your attitude? If mama ain’t happy, everyone’s gonna know it and everyone’s gonna feed off of that bad attitude.

We are called as helpers of our husbands to make his load at home as simple and calming as possible. No, that doesn’t mean go do all of the manly things around the house so he doesn’t have to. Our husbands have their own responsibilities in that regard, but when it comes to taking care of laundry, having dinner cooked, having the home clean and cozy when he arrives from a long day at work, this is where we must learn to prioritize! Sure, the occasional kicking up our feet to rest with a diet coke and Netflix isn’t all bad. However, if we are letting other things go around the house or letting our money fly out the windows, we aren’t being obedient to the Lord in our role and calling as wives.

Write in your journal Proverbs 31:27 and spend some time thinking on and answering the questions below:

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What are some ways you can look “well to the ways of your household…

Emotionally for your husband?

Physically for your husband?

Spiritually for your husband?

As wives, we are called in this excellent way to help take care of our families in each of these areas as much as is possible and as much as is our role (not to take on our husbands roles). This even includes our spending and how we budget for our family in order to help meet our financial goals. Slashing those smaller debts to getting rid of all debt period. It means we are called to pass by Starbucks if it means we could help our family save for that new home or those new tires you know you’re going to be needing soon (this is me in case you didn’t connect the dots! HA!). It means asking the Lord for wisdom as you do your best to put money back for that family trip you know you’re wanting to plan as sweet investment into your littles and your man. It means sitting down with your husband and talking budget. Even if you’re not the one who handles it in your home, there are still so many ways that you could help your husband meet his own goals as well as the families.

So, your challenge in THIS area? Actually do this. Sit down with your husband and talk budget. Talk atmosphere in your home. Talk goals. As individuals. As a family. Communication is KEY when it comes to gaining wisdom as to how to truly walk in this most excellent way. Ask him in what ways you could better help him feel calm in your home as he comes home from work? Is there anything in particular that bothers him (with the three areas mentioned above – emotionally, physically, spiritually ) and if so, how could you improve in those areas? What would he like? What are your family goals financially and how can you help him meet those goals? In what areas could you cut spending to help?

This is going to be a real challenge as you ask the Lord for HUMILITY, as you sit there with a sweet heart and attitude, as you refuse to get angry or upset, as you refuse to point fingers or open your mouth with sarcasm or an argument. I am praying for you friend! What would be even better? Take notes as he shares. Watch your attitude and your heart as you genuinely seek his thoughts and thank him when it’s over with, because daughter of the King, the Lord can use your husband to sweetly refine you. It’s the refining that points us to Christ. It’s the refining that leads us to this excellent wife way.

After your conversation, come back here and journal about how it went. Make notes and begin praying about those things mentioned. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you will begin walking empowered to honor your husband, and I’m telling you, your husband will look at you in a different light afterwards. He will see you in a pure and genuine, in a sweet and gently powerful light. It will be the precious light of Jesus. And you will leave an impact.

Flourish, Wifey, Flourish,

Ashleigh

ash and brett

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