Hey wifey friend.
As I was driving to our gathering on Friday, I felt the Holy Spirit begin to whisper to me. I was passing all of these gorgeous trees on my drive. Trees full of beautiful colors. Leaves turning browns and oranges and adoring shades of autumn. Leaves that, at any moment, will fall swiftly to the ground as the season draws closer to winter and out of all the pumpkin spice lattes and sweater weather candles that fall brings, I think what my heart loves most is seeing these trees.
Because through them, the Lord reminds me that I too am a tree.
Let me explain.
He is revealing new things. Beautiful things about himself. Beautiful things that He wants to see in me. And as he reveals, and as he speaks out what could be in my life, I am filled to the brim with hope that things don’t have to stay as they are. I am filled with His joy and my leaves begin to change colors. I transform into those gorgeous autumn colors as His plans and excitement for new changes me from the inside out. He reminds me that as he begins to show me the dark places in my heart, in my mind, that must be removed. He sweetly prunes me. I begin laying more and more at His feet, shedding my own leaves until I am nothing but a bare tree before Him. Bare and beautiful. A blank canvas for His mighty and gentle hand to brush out colorful strokes on. We are these trees, my sweet friend. And we are in the place of laying our ugly down before Him, so that He can plant and bloom, with the touch of His hand, something of a masterpiece.
“Planted in the house of the Lord, (She) will flourish in the courts of her God.” Psalms 92:13
Spring is coming ladies, but even as we wait for it, the most wonderful thing about us changing just as the seasons do? Although each season brings about completely different changes, one hot, one cold, one flowers and rain, one pumpkins and crunchy leaves…they ALL bring beauty in their own amazing ways. The season you’re in? Yeah. With the Lord’s hand in it, your season too can bring about something absolutely stunning.
So, the golden ticket question for you: How’s things going? How’s your marriage going? How’s your heart looking?
We are just a little over half way through our study which seems to call for a check in. Have you challenged yourself in our group to branch out and meet someone new? Have you pushed yourself to actually attempt to do in your marriage and in your home what we are learning every week? If you haven’t thrown the book out the window yet, then I’d say you were in a pretty good place thus far! KEEP GOING! Do NOT quit now, my sister friend. I hear more and more stories of true heart and marriage transformation from our amazing wifey’s who meet each week. Not because of me. Not because of their abilities. Nope. It’s all because they have chosen to lay down their pride, obey the Lord and begin to actually listen to the advice given in our books each week. There IS hope for you. There IS hope for your marriage and the Lord needs you to know right now, wherever you’ve found yourself reading this, that He isn’t done with you yet. Remember, YOU are that tree. So let’s get to changing.
Before we dive in head first, stop a moment and tell the Lord you’re running. You’re running to the secret place where He is. Where you will always be found. Where you can come to Him with your junk, with your mess ups, your baggage and hurt. Where you can lay back on Him and find rest. You’re entering into your secret place with Him. And it’s here where He longs to speak to you. Where He longs to pour His love on you. Where He longs to flourish the deepest parts of your heart.
R E S P E C T – FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME.
Oh man. Respect. Respecting our husbands. Can I have confession time with you? I’m on the struggle bus with this one. I have the hardest time not only keeping my mouth shut in most situations, but also doing it with a genuine attitude towards my man. One that does not bleed out sarcasm and ugly eyes through cold looks and silent treatments.
This Friday we took a self-assessment on how much we actually show respect towards our husbands. How did you rank in the scheme of your assessment? Was it brutal? Were there areas that stuck out to you? Today, I want you to spend some time with the Lord truly doing some heart surgery. Examine your heart as you re-read through each one of these questions (even if you’ve already read these, stop a moment and do some re-reading. Trust me. We need to ask ourselves these questions often to keep our hearts in check). As you read, journal on your own the ones that stick out to you the most. Here we go. Let’s do this.
If you found yourself admitting failure in any of these challenging questions, you my dear are in good company. Respecting your husband can be a beautiful thing if you will let the Lord lead and use you. Even if maybe at times you feel he does not deserve your respect, don’t forget that the Lord has still placed him in the position he is in. He is your husband. He is head over you and Christ is head over HIM. Some days, you must remind yourself that you’re choosing to respect his position, not necessarily his personality. He is not always going to do things that in your eyes “earn” your love, but regardless, that does not change our calling to love him.
How do your words on a day to day basis reflect love and respect towards your husband? Are you soft spoken, gentle and compassionate to him when you feel like maybe he doesn’t deserve love or do you feel like you need some work?
Look up Romans 5:8 and write it here:
Thank God that Jesus chose the cross when we did not deserve it. He is so holy. So precious. So loving to die for someone like me, someone who struggles with sin on a daily basis. Someone who messes up. Someone who needs forgiveness and grace. How beautiful that we can receive his sweet mercy and turn around all to show that same love to our men?
Our words hold the power of life and death over our husbands and when we choose to show our husbands respect, we are choosing righteousness. We are choosing to walk rightly before the Lord, to choose Jesus. He is our righteousness, ladies. Our beautiful inheritance.
Spend some time reading the entire chapter of Proverbs 10 and as you read, fill in all of the promises given to those who choose righteousness, who choose this excellent way with Jesus. I am using an ESV, so you might want to pull it up on your phone if the wording in your version doesn’t quite fit.
Proverbs 10:2 : The righteous are delivered from _____________
Proverbs 10:3 : The righteous will never go _________________
Proverbs 10:6 : Blessings are on the head of the __________________
Proverbs 10:7 :The memory of the __________________ is a blessing
Proverbs 10:11 : The mouth of the righteous is a ________________ of __________
Proverbs 10:16 : The wage of the righteous leads to _____________
Proverbs 10:20: The tongues of the righteous is ______________ _______________.
Proverbs 10:21 : The lips of the righteous feed ____________.
Proverbs 10:24 : The desires of the righteous will be _______________.
Proverbs 10:25 The righteous is established ________________.
Proverbs 10:28 : The hope of the righteous brings _______________.
Proverbs 10:30 : The righteous will never be _________________.
Proverbs 10:31 :The mouth of the righteous brings forth _________________.
Proverbs 10:32 : The lips of the righteous _________ what is acceptable.
Don’t you see? When you choose to show love and genuine respect to your husband, when you choose to lay down your fleshly desires of pride, of bowing up, of demanding your own way, when you choose Jesus in the moment, you are choosing righteousness. You are stepping into that beautiful calling of yours as this excellent wife. Make no mistake about it though, my friend. The moment you stepped into relationship with the Lord, you became righteous. You were covered by the pure and righteous blood of Jesus that was shed for us on the cross. Our salvation is not through works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9).
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Galations 2:21
Jesus came to make us right before God, to give us the chance to have a relationship with Himself, to give us hope and security of eternal life spent with Him. We must know that we are not justified by the good things that we do (by choosing to respect our husbands, for example), but are saved because of the righteousness of CHRIST. Our God is a righteous and holy God, ladies, and when we choose to surrender our own ways and obey him by showing respect towards our husbands, we are declaring his righteousness and in return, are being made to look more like our Daddy.
“The righteous flourish like a palm tree…” Psalms 92:12
So, your challenge for this week?
Sit down with your husband and have a genuine conversation about how he views your respect towards him. If you’re up for the challenge, read off to him the self assessment at the beginning of this homework and ask him his thoughts. Are there things you could be working on? What is his view of respect in the home? Towards him? As hard as it may be to hear his response to these questions, I encourage you to receive with a willing heart. A willing heart to change for him, to lay down your pride and lovingly agree to work on the areas in your heart that need a little (or a lot) of tweaking. Sweet wife, Jesus is working in you to produce the righteousness of Christ and as you trust him in this process of change, you will begin to sway in the breeze of that sweet Holy Spirit wind, much like those beautiful autumn trees did that morning I passed them. You will begin to see the fruit of your labor bloom in your life, in your husband, your marriage and especially, in yourself and your walk with Christ. We just filled our promise tank with the promises for a righteous wife. They are YOURS. YOUR promises. Receive them. Claim them. Believe them. Walk in them and embrace the beautiful change taking place, because it’s just that.
Flourish, WIFEY, Flourish,