When the lights go off, I open my book to read, and I think of my day and in all the areas I need to grow more into my Lord’s likeness.
Pondering about His holiness, studying Philippians and tasting sweet drops of honey from this book, have me writing a lot on my journal.
How can you be a great wife and mother?
Nancy stated it clearly, we need to be “good Christian women”; and how can you be such a “good Christian woman” if you haven’t met a Holy God in the quietness? “How can I meet Him, the Holy One, and not be crushed”? you might say; it is only through Jesus Christ, through His saving power that we can come confidently before Him and find grace.
And Paul says,
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4: 4-7 ESV
What a joy! Through Jesus, we can come and meet the Holy One and pray and pour our heart in prayer and supplication at His feet, only to find peace; a perfect peace that is able to guard our hearts and minds in Christ, while we pursue our calling: being the good woman God wants us to be.
“Let the wife see that she respects her husband” Eph. 5:33
Respect, is a verb, we need to “do respect”. Four words that the author emphasizes in her definition of the word are:
In this chapter Nancy teaches that respect to our own husband is a command from God; and she points through out the pages, different practical ways on how we can show respect for our husband.
What about a “respect letter”? Yes, this is different than a “love letter”, it involves more. It says more, it builds more.
Respect involves lots of things that can be done. It is more than a nice feeling towards our husband.
“Do not share your husband’s weaknesses, problems, blunders, sins, poor decisions, or failings with anyone. It is disrespect if you do. He is not perfect, we all know that. But when you share unwisely, it does two things: it causes you to disrespect him more, and it causes the hearers to think less of him, too. Sharing problems is totally unproductive unless you are talking to someone ina position to help you. (i.e., your pastor).”
The author reminds us that if we have sinned by not being respectful we need to repent before the Lord, ask our husband for his forgiveness and then we will be ready to “take concrete steps to respect and build up our husband”
Nancy goes on to explain to us how 1 Peter 3: 5-6 can be applied in a day to day basis,
“For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”
Four things we must note as on how to “adorn” ourselves:
1. We are to trust God (v.5)
2. We are to be submissive to our own husbands (v.5)
3. Do good (v.6)
4. Be unafraid (v6)
For the sake of space and time I won’t talk about each one of these (I encourage you again to get the book and read it all, believe me, it is worth doing it!) but one if the things that stand out for me is this: Trust God.
Here is where doctrines found us “in the kitchen”, if we say we believe in God’s Sovereignty, then we must not complain or have a critical spirit against our husband.
Nancy says it well,
“Trust in God is a great protection from fear because we see God in complete control of our lives. The more a woman studies the Word and comes to understand God’s character, the easier it becomes to trust in Him. Submission frees a woman from many fears if it is rendered in an atmosphere of faith and trust in God”
Ephesians 5:33b says,
“let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Again, we are reminded that respecting our husband is one of the holy duties we have before the Lord. We are to examine ourselves, these questions are good starting points: Am I respecting my husband on the way I talk to him and on the way I talk about him?
“Remember that respect and submission are not what your husband requires of you, but what God requires of you”
Being respectful covers different areas of our lives including our finances. On this, I will share some of Nancy’s words:
“When you are tempted to criticize your husband (and you will be), when you want very much to ‘let him have it’, pray for love–‘Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins”(Prov. 10:12). Turn to the Lord for comfort, strength, silence!”
Some times being respectful means being quiet, and this last part of the chapter is addressed to women who are married to an unbeliever or a man who does not lead his family in a godly manner.
“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—” 1 Peter 3:1-3
Quoting the author:
“”Flaunting your spirituality is not being quiet. (“I hope he sees that at least I am reading my Bible, even if he isn’t”) What he needs to see is your sweet and courteous attitude, not how many books you are reading or how many prayer meetings you attend each week. Leave the results to God…You are to be obedient to God regardless of the results.”
OK, I now I took a lot of space and time to write about the previous chapter, so I will use few words to talk about this one.
“A Christian woman must learn to think biblically; she must derive her basic principles of living from God’s Word… if we learn to think like Christians, we can discern between worldly and Christian principles”
Not so hard right? Just abide in the Word!
In this chapter I learned that I should NOT criticize (even in my heart) what methods this friend or that family follow; what matters is the principle behind the method, and not the method per se.
“We ought to rejoice in a common commitment to biblical principles and in a variety of methods God’s people employ”
How true is this!
We tend to judge our fellow brothers and sisters (or children and husband) on how they like to do things and we get mad and are hard on them… we should not. Methods are not God’s principles.
Let His grace abound as we grow in our Christian life.
|Get the book at Monergism|
The Fruit of Her Hands- Part One – My comments are found here.
Nancy Wilson blogs at Femina
If you know someone who speaks Spanish invite them to join the conversation around this book at Delicias A Tu Diestra Para Siempre. My friend Faby, is our guest blogger and she is a joy to be around.
>Nohemi, Yes, sometimes, we get into silly discussions because of the methods,instead of looking beyond towards the Principles God has established on His Word. The thing here (and going back to what we talked about the first chapter of the book), is that we are to be women of the Word. If we don't study our Bibles thoroughly, how are we suppose to know which are God's principles?Have a wonderful weekend!
>Now, about chapter 3: Principles and Methods.I was so excited about this one, I knew they existed, but I was so glad to see that somebody put a name to "it".How deceived and mistaken we can get just by focusing on the method, rather than on the principle.At the end we need to ask these 3 quetions:Is whatever I'm doing hurting somebody?Is it hurting myself?Is it hurting my relationship with Christ?If the answer is "no", then we can be sure that we are doing the right thing, the right way!Nohemi.
>Emily, thank you for your input; I left a note on your blog!Blessings!
>whoops! sorry for the errors–typing too fast! 🙂
>I thought about it and decided to go ahead and write a bit on the Respect chapter. Not keeping secrets saved the life of someone I know, and I wish Nancy had wrote more about the danger of keeping too silent on matters of the home.My husband is excellent, and his advice is full of love. Since I am in a solid Christian marriage, I can follow Nancy's advice without thinking too much about it. But for my own integrity on my blog, I felt the need to clarify where I disagree with the Respect chapter. Texas is a part of the American Bible belt, and too many Christian women here keep secrets to save face, even to the detriment of their children and themselves.I *still* love the book though, and have learned so much from it!
>Noemi, glad you are here again!Yes, you are right; this book is written for Christian women, not for unbelievers. It would be impossible to live a Christian calling without being born from the Spirit. All these issues we are talking about are part of our sanctification process. It is part of what it means to mortify the sin in us. We should pray for women who are suffering, that God will bring them to Him, the source of true Life, the Only Way, the Truth. I am about to write the respect letter too for my Beloved. I love him so much! He deserves all my respect and love, but I am so happy to hear that you already wrote it. What a joy to have a godly marriage!Again, I am so happy to have you here!
>Great comments everyone!!I took a few notes while reading the respect chapter:To CHOOSE to respect my husband frees me to do do just that, and trust Jesus even more that He will take over!!How I wish that all the married ladies would get it. Working in a secular environment helping women who are suffering violence by their husbands… how do you teach it, how do you reach to them??We can do all the teaching, and classes, and groups, but if we (and them) don't have the Holy Spirit, it is all activity with no purpose. The Truth will set you free.That is the great thing about being the only bilingual staff in your company, you can preach Jesus in a different way!!Lastly, I wrote "The List" for my husband, and it wasn't so hard as I expected! Yes, I confess…Blessings!!
>WoW! I guess we have good material to talk over the table, maybe we need an extra pot of fresh coffee!Jo, I have been so blessed by the Wilson's too. The way they portray the godly family and the way the teach about it has challenged us to pursue holiness in every room in our home.I am so glad you are in the group today.Emily, Yes, I loved to read that part about trusting God in my marriage. How easily I fall into sin!The methods and principles… what a powerful chapter, so practical! So many times I have tried to convince younger women of my methods and that is not good. I still need to grow more like Him; I need to build more and not tear apart.Hollie, O, I hear your heart, my friend and I am praying for you today! My life for Yours,O it is such a wonderful book, too! I should re-read it:)Elizabeth, Ouch…yes, so true! we think that because it is "between women", "amongst friends" it doesn't matter! That is terrible! How easily we fall into dishonoring our husband! Love my husband with all my mind just as I love Jesus…that is something I must do. Those words of yours spoke right into my heart.And I agree again with you, Emily, what a terrible thing it is that discontent leads us to sin. I am so happy and blessed because here in my words to words life, and in my face to face life; God has blessed me with friends who honor and love their husbands. It is a joy indeed to sit and chat about the wonderful gift of marriage.Dear Elizabeth, Emily, Hollie, Jo, thank you, for joining the conversation; I am learning a lot here!
>Hi Emily, It's always comforting to know we are not sojourning alone. Marriage is the most wonderful gift God has ever given to mankind apart from His Son. The ideals He's set forth for us to aspire to are worth spending every ounce of ourselves.I want to love my husband well not only because it's right but because He is worthy of gaining a greater glory through our marriage. "He must increase, but I must decrease…" -john 3:30-E
>findingthemotherlode: Amen! I've been thinking too of my need to reign in my slip, losing sight of it since I was in the company of women. I also have been convicted of my thought life. I've been struggling with it for some time, but for me I think the issue comes down to discontentment from not trusting the Lord. In my discontentment and worldly fear, I sin. I read Colossians today. It reaffirmed my need to trust in Christ and not in methods, and doing my work as a wife and mother with cheer as unto the Lord.
>Thank you, again, Becky, for your thoughts and all the work that goes into each post.In reading these chapters, I had a number of thoughts, two of which I'll share here. As I've been coming under conviction concerning this matter of respect, I've realized how gentle the Savior is with me. My "slip has been showing" for years, but I thought it was okay. It was only showing a little bit. You know, being amongst women, who minds? They'll understand these things…But no. I am repentant. And it is my heartfelt desire to grow in grace and extend to my husband the utmost respect he deserves. Psalm 139:23-24 speaks to me:"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." I want to be generous towards my husband, even in my mind, when nobody is looking. I love my him with all of my heart, but God has called me to love him with all of my mind, just as I am to love Christ.Dios te bendiga, mi hermana preciosa,-E
>An area that I've been pondering for a few weeks now is "trusting God." This week's chapters confirmed in my heart areas that I need to trust Him more. I have also been turning over in my mind the difference between principles and rules, though I think Nancy's chosen word, "methods," fits in better with what I've been thinking of as "rules." I'm reading My Life For Yours for the first time as I reread Fruit of Her Hands. It's been neat to see the agreement in their teachings, and from different perspectives. I'm truly grateful that you chose this book, and the review has been Providentially good for me. :)God bless!
>I'm enjoying this book very much. It's causing me much reflection on my life … which can be painful, but it is good.
>Becky,Thank you for going through "The Fruit of Her Hands". We appreciate the Wilson's ministry and clear direction on family matters. I'll following this – Thank you again. Have a wonderful day and the Lord Bless you richly,Jo