"...Train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husband, that the word of God may not be discredited." (RSV)
I really like how the NIV say the verses as well:
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God."
My heart is full from the love that I have for my husband and for my Savior. I'm so thankful for a God who continually washes me white as snow. I've been feeling a little guilty and convicted because to some extent I've been neglecting my husband. School has had the best of me, but that is no excuse. God doesn't want that. So instead of dwelling on the fact that I've been failing, I've decided to accept God's forgiveness instead.
See, I've been learning in my quiet time that we need to forgive ourselves when God has already forgiven us. Not being able to forgive ourselves is from Satan, because he wants us to dwell on our sin. When you forgive yourself, you're liberated. It's so freeing!
The retreat was a liberating weekend. It was a weekend that I realized that I am peaceful. I'm at peace with not going back to school. I'm at peace with school currently. I'm at peace with wherever Tyler takes a job. Most of all, I'm at peace with God. What an amazing feeling.
We focused on six main topics, and there's a couple that I've just really learned a lot from.
1. Kindness: the biggest thing I've learned from doing this particular lesson in the book and listening to our speaker is this:
If we desire to be like Christ, we must ask Him to develop kindness in us.
This is sooooo true. Kindness is a choice. It's an every day decision that we must make. We have the choice whether to retaliate after someone was rude to us. We have the choice whether to be nice to our husbands or kids after they just made us mad. It's a choice.
Don't let someone else determine your attitude.
2. Loving Your Husband: this one has shown me that I need to work on this. God must be the MOST important relationship in your life. Everything you do hinges on this relationship--the decisions you make, the reactions you have to circumstances, the way you relate to others, your sense of joy and peace.
Everything in life is affected by my relationship with God. When that relationship isn't right, then nothing is right. Specifically, the issues of self-worth, loneliness, strength in hard times, freedom from fear, and joy are resolved only by a right relationship with the Lord. What great news! God can bring me through all of those trials. I don't have to suffer alone, but I also must know that my husband cannot make those situations go away for me. It's totally from a right relationship with God.
Love is a choice of actions. It's not just an emotion. We have to love through our actions. That is something that I'm working on. Another thing that I'm working on is putting my husband's needs before my own, which can be hard because today we have the attitude of "me." But God calls me to put his needs before mine. I want to be Tyler's number one cheerleader. I want him to feel like I'm his cheerleader.
These are just a few examples of what I've been working on this week. It's been a really great week, despite the fact that I've gone to school and work. I've been less stressed, and have really been seeking God. I have been at peace.
God is also teaching Tyler and I to trust Him as a couple. See, Tyler graduates in December and is currently looking for a job. It's a tough job market out there. He's applied for several and just hasn't heard back from them. Last week, a company called him and told him they thought he'd be a good fit for them and encouraged him to fill out an application. We talked about if for a few days, and on Monday, they called again asking why he hadn't submitted his application. He went ahead and filled it out and shortly after, they contacted him asking him when he could interview.
This job wasn't a first pick for him. It's been an emotional struggle to even apply for this job. However, we see that God has been opening doors. We continue to pray everyday asking if this is where we need to be, and if it is, that God will just make it blatantly obvious to us. Our attitudes have changed toward the possibility, and we're slowly seeing that God has a hand in all of this. Of course He does!
Last night in my quiet time, one of the verses I read was this:
"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him."
I think we both needed a little encouragement, and this is how God encourages us. We are going to continue to pray and ask God to lead us. Ultimately, we want to be where He wants us. If it's in Timbuktu, then we will move there. If it's in Springfield, then here will we stay. Wherever we are, our priority is to serve God with all that we are.
God provides. He really does, and we're seeing that He doesn't necessarily provide in a way that we may want. God knows the best for us. He knows the plans for us: to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).