Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Women Living Well book study: Chapters 4-6 discussion + study guide

This is the second week of our Women Living Well Study. You can find all previous study posts here.


How was your second week of studying? I loved reading all of your discussions last week! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! It's so fun to discuss this together! :D

I really enjoyed this week's reading, but it was definitely a hard week of facing the truth, wasn't it? ;)

Let's go ahead and dig into chapters 4-6...

Chapter 4: The Effects of the Media Revolution

Oh, this chapter steps all over my toes in a good way. :) I love how Courtney starts with this:

"Media is amoral. In and of itself it is neither good nor evil. It is our use of it that determines its morality." {p. 37}

Media isn't my main problem. :) I'm my main problem. I love soaking in everything the internet has to offer- keeping up with friends, interacting with other women, instant knowledge of every kind {I don't even have to remember anything anymore!}, ways to do anything and everything... it could go on forever. I could spend every waking hour in front of the computer and still have more to look at or learn.

It's so good, and yet so bad for me sometimes, because not only does it take my mind to other places- it takes my attention off of God and my husband and family the most. And while my intentions are good, it can easily take my thoughts to envy and coveting what my neighbors have. Spending time on the internet gives me more knowledge like Courtney mentions, and yet it divides my attention and focus at the same time.

Blogging presents a whole new world of issues for an internet/knowledge lover like me. "I want to" turns into "I have to"- and I find that because I blog, I need to be even more aware of how the computer pulls me in. I have legitimate reasons to be online, but I don't want to live my life out in front of a screen. This week, it's hit me that I need to become more intentional about what I do online. Mindless window shopping or Pinterest surfing might not be the best thing to wind down when I spend so many hours online each day already.

Not only that, I realized this last week that I've fallen into a very bad habit of checking my email on my phone first thing in the morning before devotion time. Nothing online is that pressing, you know? It can wait. When I do check my phone first I notice my anxiety level goes up, and I keep thinking of what I need to respond to in my prayer time. That's not good for staying focused on Jesus.


In the past, I've shut down my Facebook account completely for weeks and I found I had so much more free time and I hardly missed anything that was going on. Can you believe it? If you want to do it- you can deactivate your account and it will save your information for when you decide to re-activate it. I can tell you firsthand, freedom from checking Facebook is a wonderful thing!

I've also done the 12 hour challenge since I started blogging. For a few weeks I turned off the internet for 12 hours each day, and gave myself two 15 minute check-ins so that I would stop feeling so split-brained and unfocused from multi-tasking all day long. And oh my, I was so shocked at how hard it was to turn off that silly computer! It's become such a huge part of my day that fasting from it was actually difficult!

This week my goals have been to leave the beeping phone behind while I do chores around the house, and to avoid looking at my phone until after I do morning devotions {which I started doing again this week for the first week since the baby has been here!}. Both of these have been so good for my brain and heart this week already!

I want to be able to hear THE Voice before any other voice. I want to hear His voice instead of listening to what the world says I should have or do or want. You know what I mean?

I want to remember this quote from Courtney as she closed out the chapter- I think it's such a great reminder to help me monitor my time and thoughts as I go online:

"Information is a cheap substitute for the wisdom that comes from God."

Chapter 5: Never Walk Alone

Going it alone is, without a doubt, one of the most common and effective strategies that Satan uses to discourage moms. A woman alone in her home with her ideals eventually wears down and becomes a perfect target for Satan to discourage. Sally Clarkson, Desperate  {WLW, p. 45}

Do you have a Titus 2 mentor in your life? We had a Titus 2 panel at our women's event last month and it was incredible. We only had 45 minutes of listening to 4 ladies answer questions, but it was such a gift to hear wisdom from those who've walked it before. I felt encouraged to know these Proverbs 31 ladies had been through some of the same things I am, and they'd made it through! :) Seriously though, it was wonderful.

I think one of the reasons I wanted to do this study here on the blog was that it is so good for us to walk together in community through some very practical Titus 2 advice from Courtney! I love that we all get to be online together and get to know each other and answer each other's questions. What a blessing it is to live in a time where we can meet together from thousands of miles apart! :D

You can also join a GoodMorningGirls group for a semester online and walk through a study with a group of ladies from all over the world!

Since we started homeschooling full-time again, I've been able to go to another Bible study with girls from my church- and again I can't tell you how comforting and encouraging it is to be in community and learn with other sisters in Christ. If you have a chance to meet regularly with other women who love Jesus, try and do it!! :D

Chapter 6: The Time-Warp Wife

Being a helper to your husband is not embraced by the world, but I love how Courtney addresses the role of women with these Scriptures on page 57:
  • God created wives to be helpers to our husbands (Gen. 2:18).
  • God commands wives to respect our husbands (Eph. 5:33).
  • God commissions our husbands to be leaders of the home (Eph. 5:22–24). 
It's so good to be reminded of what the Bible says, and I love how she mentions that every marriage will look different, but she also says to remember that "you were created specifically to be the helper of your man."
God gave you this ministry! It is a ministry specific to you- a job no other woman can do {and not to mention a job we'd want no other woman to do....in the words of Matt Chandler- are you tracking with me here?}. 

You can praise your husband, you can serve your husband, you can meet his needs in ways no one else can and that itself is a blessing because it gives you a chance to show the love of Christ every single day as you minister to him! 

By respecting him, by letting him lead, and by helping him you are fulfilling the commands of the Word of God. I wonder- do we take it this seriously though? I know I don't often enough. In fact, lots of times I can convince myself that I'm "helping" my husband be more tidy {according to my standards anyway} by nagging him to pick something up, but I know the truth. That habit is no good! 

I love the 5 ways to respect your husband listed on page 62. I need to set these in a reminder on my phone every day just as practical reminders of how to respect my husband! 

And then this quote: 

"Oftentimes we disrespect our husbands out of selfishness. We are not getting our way or what we want, so we go the route of criticizing, crying, or pouting." {p. 64}

Ouch again, no? This was convicting! Thinking back to nearly every time I've nagged or criticized or have said harsh, ugly things to my husband, it's been because I didn't get what I wanted. It's pride- it's placing myself and what I want higher above him and what he wants.

And then this:

"But why is it that women tend to cry and men tend to get angry? Because crying is often the result of a woman feeling unloved, and anger is often the result of a man feeling disrespected." {p. 64}

Wow. I've never realized that before, have you? Just realizing that my husband gets angry when he feels disrespected could make a difference in the way I react in the middle of an argument. It's an instant reminder for me to check my spirit and my words and respect my husband.

And another way to dissolve friction in our marriages? I'm sure it won't be easy, but I think it works miracles in our marriages to let our man take the lead:

"Submission is a heart attitude that will be displayed in our actions. We humbly allow our husbands to take the lead. When we allow the husband to take the lead, friction and chaos within marriage are resolved because this is the God-ordained order for marriage." {p. 65} {I love that she follows this with a real-life story of how hard it really is! :D}



God is so good to us- I know that the times I've followed my husband's lead and shown him respect by giving him priority that God has blessed it and my husband has responded to me with love in so many ways. I'm a very blessed woman to have such an amazing husband who loves me so very well- he has been the picture of Christ to me. Seriously. I mess up with the respect thing all the time, and yet my husband is so very good to me! 

Marriage is one of the most challenging places to live out the commands of the Lord, but the benefits of obedience far surpass the work! My prayer this week is that we can live out what God has called us to do in our marriage, and that He will help us respect our husbands as we should and give up our desire to control and criticize them, and that He will bless our efforts to love on our husbands! 

Oh dear Jesus, we thank you for your Word- we thank you for Titus 2 women like Courtney and those in our lives who can model how to walk out the commands you've given us. Thank you for husbands- thank you for allowing us to walk in relationships that model who you are. Please help us to live out what you want for us- please give us strength to control our tongues, Holy Spirit, we beg for your help as you know our weaknesses in our marriages, and in being online. Please change our hearts to want only what you desire for us in every area- and especially in our media time and the words we speak to our husbands this week. We love you and praise you for your marvelous deeds, Father! You are so good to us. In the name of Jesus we ask for help this week. Amen.

________________________________________________

Let's discuss! 
Please feel free to reply to anyone's comments below! 
{Oh, and it would be so nice if you leave your name somehow so that we know who you are. :D Anonymous can be a popular name these days! hehehe :)}

Did you make any changes to the way you spend time on the internet this week? 
I stopped looking at my phone until I had morning devotions {which were possible thanks to my husband taking the baby! Love.that.man.}

How did you show your husband love this week?


And I'd love to hear what you wrote for this: what does submission look like in your home? How does your husband lead you in your marriage? {and remember, it will be different for everyone, so please be gracious if you have an opinion. ;)} 


47 comments:

Amy said...

Over the past couple weeks, I've made a point to start each day with my devotions rather than jumping on the computer as soon as I wake up. It's much too tempting to go online when no one else is awake yet, but I know if I do that I'll put off my devotions until the children are awake. Then I try to do devotions while my children are trying to talk with me or grab my attention, and my time with God and my children are shorted when I attempt this.

When I plan meals for the week, I have a tendency to mostly choose things that I know my children will enjoy since this makes mealtime so much easier. I'm making a point now, though, to set aside a day or two where the meals are particular favorites of my husband. I'm also making a point to keep the main areas of the house picked up so my husband is less likely to step on or try over something. He doesn't seem to be able to navigate through a messy house as easily as the rest the family. :-)

It's easy for me to go ahead and make decisions or go about our daily routine without consulting my husband as often as he'd like, so I'm making a conscious effort to include him in the things that he probably doesn't care about as much. In doing this, it helps him feel more a part of the family and the head of the household since it's so easy to feel disconnected being away from us at work each day.

Amber Pool said...

This is my first week participating in the discussion & I'm so happy to be here! What a blessing to be able to share & be encouraged by other women desiring the same things!

First of all, I struggle with the exact same thing that you spoke of, Mandy. I find myself reading emails & checking Facebook immediately after quieting the alarm on the phone that had just woken me up for the day. Such a bad habit to have fallen into! I have made it a point to turn off the alarm & then set the phone down (not to be picked up again!) until after I have spent some time in solitude with my Father & then sent the kids off to school for the day. Today has been Day 2 of that & so far, so good (HA!). The Lord is faithful to meet with us if only we allow Him the time to!

I also felt a great deal of conviction when Courtney wrote about having guy friends on Facebook (pgs 42-43). My husband does not have a Facebook account, I'm the only one that does. He really has no idea (or the desire to know) about everyone & everything that takes place on there. I started thinking to myself "What if my husband was on Facebook & I was not. What if he had a bunch of girls as friends on there. How would I feel if I was not involved in any of that?" Don't get me wrong, all of those people are mutual friends outside of Facebook but I felt a conviction placed on my heart that I did not need to have "exclusive access" to those male friends, outside of where my husband is. Does that make sense? I hope you understand my heart here.... So last night, I sat down & hit "delete" many of times. It was nothing personally against anybody, I just knew that I had to honor what the Father was speaking to me.

How did I love my husband this week? I let him sleep! ha! Yes, so my husband works second shift. He really, really would like to be allowed to "sleep in" until around 8 or 9 the following morning. This has been an issue for me from time to time. Why? Well, because I'm awake & ready to take on the world & by golly, so should he! Oh goodness, how selfish am I?! So the Lord has been whispering, ever so gently to me that I need to back off & let my husband rest. And you know what? It's turned out to be a win-win situation for both of us. My husbands walks out of the bedroom well rested & grateful for the sleep & while he sleeps, I'm about to be a part of this study with all of you! The Lord is faithful to meet all of our needs!

Finally, what does submission look like in my home? Oh boy... This is a huge struggle for me. Not because I don't desire to submit & respect my husband but because I have a huge PRIDE issue. I am a control freak! So I'm hopeful that the Lord is going to work a miracle in this girl & I'm so thankful that I have all of you to gain wisdom from.

Sorry that this got rather lengthy. I hope this finds all of your well & I'm so looking forward to reading what all of you took away from these three chapters!

Lots of love!
Amber

Angie Lois said...

I am alone at home for the first time since I became a mother. The homeschooling season is over (for now). I have much time to work on chores, craft projects, volunteering and INTERNET. I have purposed to spend time in the Word and prayer BEFORE I turn on my computer or phone in the morning. Sad, but true, it was a challenge. But, oh so worth it. I can't tell you how the atmosphere in our home has changed for the better. My attitude was so much better there was "peace that surpasses understanding". Wow, I'm living out the Word of God in my home. What an amazing gift God has given us in His Word!
Homework time at my house is a time that pushes the limits on what a healthy blood pressure should be. I really rely on my husband for help in this area, but one day this week he came home with a bad headache. I told my husband to just rest a while .....he did! OH NO - Algebra and I don't get along well. I was determined to help my son and my husband. My positive attitude my a big difference. I may not have gotten it all right, but my son was grateful and my husband was much happier after his nap. He was proud of my for tackling the dreaded Algebra Beast on my own.
I'm looking forward the this weeks WLW homework and have so much more peace about my children's homework.
* SIGH*

lyndsey said...

Well...I have enjoyed reading your blog for a short while and when I got caught up on the past few posts I was intrigued by the bible study. I am a stay at home mom of an 18 month old and just in a different season than most of my friends from high school or college and I haven't made new friends in this season yet. So, I have been a bit lonesome and I thought this might allow for some fellowship...even if it is all online :-) I also know I have neglected my relationship with God and that has spilled over into every other area. I was soooo convicted about not respecting my husband. I have let the worldly view of marriage creep in with thoughts of "I do so much and he never helps, I'm not doing anything else for him" or "I can spend money on what I want I'm a grown woman". My husband desires to be debt free and he is a hard worker. He doesn't dictate what I spend whatsoever but he does voice that he would like to save more and spend less and I know he wants me to help him with that- I have just selfishly continued to disrespect him in that area. That part of the book brought me to tears, knowing I have cuased my husband pain and made him feel as though I have no respect for him I plan to apologize to him tonight and begin being the respectful wife that God has called me to be. I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this study and it has already opened my eyes to areas I need to change.

Mandy said...

Oh I love that you are picking your husband's favorites! And yay for alone time with Jesus! what a sweet blessing- and with it how you are blessing your family too! yay!! thank you Jesus!!

Mandy said...

I totally understand- and it's so good to put it in perspective by turning it around! I know for me it changes everything to think of him doing the same! great thoughts!!! And sleeping is a huge thing here too- what a gift you have given your husband!! They are always so kind to us and yet sometimes it's so hard to even equally return the favor. Oh that flesh, right!! It's so hard for me to do what is right! Thank you Jesus for helping us! So so happy to hear your thoughts this morning!!

Gale Wilkinson said...

In recent months I have changed my use of the media. For much of my adult life the television was on 24 hours a day. I thought that I could not sleep if the tv was off. Then I realized I was frequently tired and rarely got more than 5 hours of sleep at a time (I worked nights so my sleep wasn't always at night. I am not working now due to disability so I sleep at night. I turn off the tv and then read for awhile and then turn off the light. I now sleep 7-9 hours a night. It is amazing how the tv disturbed sleep and I was not even aware. My relationship with my husband of 40 years is not like many of you. We have love and mutual respect for one another. He is the head of our home and I would have it no other way. He is a Christian, but does not attend church regularly, but he makes sure I attend and participate in Bible studies and etc. We have similar interests and do things together, but some of the things I like to do are not his cup of tea and vice versa. That is ok. Since our children are grown parenting is not something we do anymore, we offer advice to our sons in rearing their children.
There are some days when the tv never comes on, or not until the afternoon. I do my daily Bible study, prayer and quiet time with God in the morning. I do log onto my email first thing but I do a online Bible study (GMG). I spend 1-2 hours in study prior to phone use, tv, breakfast (except coffee). I do not allow family members to text or be on Facebook when we have a meal together. To me that is not acceptable.
I like the idea of the Titus2 women, this is very new to me. Even though I am older I still think that I need a mentor. I spent so many years away from church and the Bible (out of laziness, not lack of interest). I have read a bit about this lately and I am very intrigued.
I enjoyed the readings this week.

Gale Wilkinson said...

I have to say in my situation I don't think it is a problems having friends on Facebook who are men. I am friends with the people I went to high school with both male and female, my cousins, former coworkers both male and female just to name a few. At 50+ these are not the issues that I face. But, perhaps 20 or 30 years ago it might have been a problem. I admire the fact that you acknowledge the potential issue and avoid it.

Anonymous said...

This week was such a challenge for me! I am alone from 5 a.m.-7:30p.m., M-F. My children are grown. I don't have a car, So basically, the internet/Facebook is my only "human" interaction everyday. I will admit I am "addicted", and I hate it! I did make the decision to not check email, Facebook or turn the tv on till I've had my devotions. Most days I was successful & was amazed at how invigorated I felt! The chapter on the Titus 2 mentoring struck a chord with me. I am 56 yrs old & have been saying for 6 yrs., "Where are the older women that should be teaching the younger women? " I have recently, along with my husband begin to attend a new church. I found out that there is no active women's ministry, so I will be approaching the pastor soon to discuss my vision & my heart for mentoring. I am very excited about this!

Sarah said...

This week was really convicting. I use the computer for work (8hrs) then when I come home and to unwind (I don't have kids yet, so I can still do that :) ) I watch a show or 2 with my hubs from Hulu. I never actually sat down to think about how much screen time I actually have. It is pretty ridiculous. My iPhone is always with me as well. I seem to never get a break. I have decided that I am going to go back to the paper version of everything. I am going to use my paper Bible, and do the GMG study on actual paper :)

We will see how it goes!

Katie said...

I have been enjoying doing this bible study for the last two weeks. I am a stay at home wife. We don't have children and I have considerable amount of time before my husband is back from work. I tend to spend most of my time on facebook, mail, pinterest, netflix, youtube, blogs. I am kind of addicted to getting more and more information on things. I know there are so many things I can do at home and be a blessing to my husband. But I tend to be lazy sitting in front of my laptop. I too need to spend time with God before I jump into anything else. Sometimes I can use the media to entertain my mind to keep me from depression.
I do attend regular bible studies with other women in church and I really enjoy that. I feel I need to spend time mentoring other women and young girls. God has been teaching me so much and I need to share His Word and comfort with other women.
I consider it my privilege to serve my husband as His helper. I wanted to be a stay at home wife in order to be able to serve him more and have all my strength for God and my husband. But at times I can be grumpy and irritable when my husband asks me to help him with something. I pray that God would give me a cheerful and serving heart. At times I cannot control my tongue and have hurt my husband so many times.
God help me to me the wife you have intended me to be. May my life speak of You alone.

Jennifer Plotts said...

I had a similar revelation this week. I also use the computer all day at work, and when we get home, almost the first thing we do is turn on the TV. Sometimes it varies because we do have a 10-month-old, so her schedule can change things around. But when she does take one of her evening naps or goes to bed early, we can lose ourselves in a mini-marathon of the TV show we are watching. The worst part is how both of us would have our laptops open looking at something else at the same time so we weren't even experiencing the show together. One of us would remark on something that happened, and the other one couldn't even discuss it because they had been distracted by their personal device. It is really very sad to end the evening thinking that you have not spent any real time with your husband. The real problem here is how my husband doesn't necessarily see it as a problem, so he still wants to watch TV or play a video game. At least in the past few weeks, I have taken the time to write things out with my paper version of my bible study and it is really nice not to look at a screen for that half hour to an hour.

Brenda said...

I so want to get this book. Hoping my local library will get it in. No money for books right now but maybe as a Christmas present. Sounds like such a great book and help as we strive to be godly women and glorify God.

Jennifer Neer said...

Chapter 6 was a tough one for me. I did like what it had to say about respect. Its about me and God not weather he deserves it or not. I will trust God to care for me and pray for Gods work in my husbands heart.
My devotion book now sits on top of my phone at night so time with God comes first in the morning before messages.

Latasha Castaneda said...

The one thing the stuck out to me was Ch. 6. I don't respect him enough. I let him make major decisions but when it comes to our kids or respecting him in public I really don't. We always argued so much and it was always over the dumbest things. Well last week I asked him to write down what things he loves what I do and what things that we can work on. We rarely have time alone and I felt that it was better to write things down than to talk and it lead into an argument. He told me what he loved about me and what I did but the only thing he asked was for me to respect him more and to get more sleep because that is the reason why he is so grumpy. He has been sleeping in more and he wakes up in a better mood towards me and the kids. I also learned to let go of all the pity stuff that he does because there is no sense of getting so stressed out over something that could have been avoided. I also have to learn to respect him enough that if I need to share an opinion or if something is bothering me to wait and talk to him instead of arguing right than an there. He also loves a home cooked meal every night and he also likes it when I am affectionate towards him. I started doing this a lot more this week and he feels more happy.

I noticed that when we limit our media intake mostly from the t.v. that we are more happy and we do more things as a family and Saturday we are doing a fasting from the t.v./Netflix and social media.

My husband is the closest thing that I have towards a mentor. He has gone to church through out his life and I went when I was a little kid. I know about the bible but I never studied it like he did. He went through some tough years before he and I go together. Right now both of us are finding our way back to God.I think though that I will feel more comfortable with another woman that will help guide me with my relationship with God. We just started going to a new church and they do offer a women's bible study class but I have really bad anxiety meeting new people especially in a group setting. I pray to God to please give the strength to overcome this anxiety.

Kris Bush said...

I have made some changes to the way I spend time on the internet by always waiting until morning devotions before getting online. I will say my phone can still be a problem though, a problem I'm working on.
I have been showing love to my husband by doing something I noticed he likes: getting up early with him before work (6am).
Submission in my home looks like letting my husband have the final say so on every topic and make the final decisions, it has been hard but it has been worthy. My husband leads in our marriage through being our sole provider, by taking care of the bills & saving (he's better at that than I am), as well as keeping me on my toes as far as our family routine goes. I have also learned to be okay with serving even when it feels inconvenient to me because I have to remember I am his helper not the other way around.

Kris Bush said...

Hi Latasha, it seems our husbands want similar things and have similar backgrounds with church & studying the bible. For me I tend to go to him with questions about the bible because he knows so much. I pray God's best for your family.

Anonymous said...

These 3 chapters were truly eye opening for me. I've been unintentionally disrespecting my husband by taking charge and assuming he didn't care. However, we have days where we bicker and I never understood why (because we consider ourselves to have a great marriage). Well...not a single argument this week! Just from me asking his input and referring to him when something comes up rather than making the decisions myself. He works a very labor intensive job and I always thought he was too tired to care, but now I know he wasn't feeling respected. With God's help, I made a few small changes that will benefit our marriage greatly!! I'm so grateful for The Lord leading me to your blog (many years ago) and this study!
Beth

Anonymous said...

I am almost done with mine, then I will mail it to you. Are you on the fb group page for the study??

Anonymous said...

I must be " anonymous" because I am not subscribed to this blog? I am on the current fb group for this study. Mary A.

Amber Pool said...

Hi Gale! I hope it didn't come across as though I was implying that all women should follow suite. My intent was only to share a personal conviction of mine. I totally understand your point of view & think that's wonderful! Thank you for sharing & I'm looking forward to learning more from you throughout these upcoming weeks.

Gale Wilkinson said...

Hi Amber, I took no offense in what you said it was similar to what Courtney said. My point was only that at my age and my stage of life friends are friends and their sex does not matter. I have been married to my soul mate for 40 years, when I find something I like I stick with it (I actually stole this from my husband). I am sure it is possible to bond with a man on Facebook or Twitter or whatever and it becomes something else. I am not saying that could NEVER happen to me, I'm not dead, but it is not probable.I hope that I can help in some way.

Kierstin said...

Ugh. That Chapter 6... Actually I'm loving this whole book and the study so far. Grateful for it all. Thank you all for challenging me.

Misty aka Elvisgirl said...

If your husband is a Christian, he is not only the head of your household, but the God appointed Spiritual Leader of your home. You should definitely being going to him for such things. Joining your women's Bible Study class would be a great way to meet other ladies in your church who can be friends, and maybe mentors, too. Just prayed for you and your family, and a woman, or women, to help you in your journey.

Aimee Niblack said...

This has really been a great study so far! I'm convicted by so much, but am having a hard time implementing some of the things. I do have devotional time most days, but usually the kids are up and I can be distracted. If they're around, I'll read it out loud so they can hear too. However, it's not really "studying" per se. I need to figure out that yet. I've been trying to cut back on computer time during the day this week, but some days I get on to do something quick, and then I find myself on there longer than I meant to be.
As for Chapter 6...I realized that I'm not showing him respect when I'm critical of his flaws and try to be his "Holy Spirit." I struggle with finding the balance between letting him know what is bothering me and criticizing him for it. I think I need to just take things to God and let it go as far as telling my husband. I've also been working this week on being more helpful. I stay at home and homeschool our 4 kids (2 are in school), so I often feel just the daily things I do are plenty of help for him. Sometimes he'll ask me to do something that I feel he can do, or is unnecessary and I will complain about doing it. I've been trying to not do that, but just do those extra things with a good attitude.
As far as leadership, my husband will make the major decisions. He is often good about hearing my input. He's happy to let the smaller day-to-day decisions to me. Like someone else said though, maybe I should start asking his opinion more often anyway to make him feel more a part of things. I do wish he would take more initiative in the spiritual leading of our family. He is a believer and attends church with us if he's not working. He also spends time with God alone each day, but any type of "family" devotions are up to me and he doesn't take part in it.
Looking forward to reading the next 3 chapters!

Misty aka Elvisgirl said...

I have actually made it up before my kids 2 times this last week & I so love having that devotional time. I made a plan in the first week to continue reading through the whole Bible, but I still cannot find my Bible with the printed bookmarks (that fit in my purse) to continue off where I was. So, I pulled out my Busy Mom's Devotional Bible & I have really enjoyed the readings I've done. I started doing devotionals after Evangelism School that I went to one Middle School Summer (about 23 years ago), and I can always see a difference in my life when I have that precious alone time with God, and when I am a slacker and don't make that time a priority. I unsubscribed to some more mail in my e-mail this week... trying to spend less wasted time on the net. I easily get lost, as the book talks about, and many of your spoke of, in the web of the internet and the many inviting temptations offered. I was telling some friends at my Homeschool Mom's Night Out how I felt like I should have "it" all together by now, but I still struggle with regular devotions, meal planning, exercise... and the list could go on. I know that I don't struggle as much when I have that regular peaceful time with God, keeping my eyes on the goal, and letting Him direct may paths.

I showed my husband love this week by spending time with him before he goes to sleep... leaving my chores and etc. to after. He gets up much earlier than the kids & I (and therefore, usually goes to bed much earlier), but many times, I just let him go to bed without having our sweet alone time together.

Kelly said...

This is such a great book!! The Lord led me to Courtney's blog over two years ago...I think because He knew I was gonna need wisdom to help me get through the roughest time I've ever been in....and it did!

Cassie Sapp said...

Hello My name is Cassie Sapp. I am a day late (tisk tisk). This is my first discussion post, I read last week’s discussion, and have been following along with the handy study guides you have provided.
First I would like to start by saying that this blog has been a blessing to me. I came across it completely by accident. Somehow, someway I shared your letter to young moms post to my FB page. I’m not sure how I did this, as I do not recall seeing it in my news feed. It wasn’t until other mama friends of mine started to like and comment on the link that I realized what had happened. So, I opened your letter read it and LOVED it. Now here I am, happy to be able to join in with these wonderful sisters in Christ.
The chapter about internet indulgence spoke in depth to me. Looking back at my mornings (I’m a working mama) the first thing I would do is grab my phone and pull up FB to see what I missed during the night. I would check it as I got ready and throughout the day whenever I was board. Having it at my fingertips makes it so easy to access. This week, I have made some much needed changes. When I wake up, I recite the bible verse I’m memorizing, I pray as I shower, I read my daily devotions, and let them sink in as I get ready for work. What Courtney said about giving God the first part of your day is so true! Even if I am a busy mom with a career that does not mean that I can’t open my bible app before my FB app. On my lunch breaks I get to really dig into my verses of the day, using the SOAP method in Courtney’s book. Then in the evenings instead of browsing Pinterest, I’ve been reading my chapters and memorizing my verses. The best part is, I haven’t even missed the social media, because God’s word is so much more fulfilling.
I have made a conscience effort to serve my husband, to make sure he is comfortable, and doted on. We both work, so sometimes I do get the attitude of why should I wait on him, I bust my hump all day too. In reality I must wait on him because God tells me to do so, he doesn’t say if you are a working mom you can skip this step. Also by serving my husband I am respecting him and showing him how much he means to me, he is my best friend, my other half, and I should treat him that way.
Submission…. Oh submission!!! This is by far our biggest struggle in our marriage. I have come leaps and bounds in this department but I have leaps and bounds left still. I was never taught submission in marriage. My mother hands down wore the pants (and still does) in my parents’ marriage. My mother also worked outside the home, she earned just as much, and in some periods of her career much more than my father. My father was in the Marine Corps and spent most of his career deployed and away from home. My mom quickly took on his role and didn’t give it back when he was home, she held onto it, and because of her example my sister and I thought that is how marriage should be. Then I married my husband, his ideas of marriage are much different, he just wouldn’t step down, and let me run our lives! It takes daily practice and prayer to give over control to my husband. When I do, things always turn out okay, sometimes even better. The chapter on submission was something I really needed to hear, because it is something that I struggle with daily. I know that by keeping my faith, and continuing to work and concentrate on Gods plan for marriage, I will overcome this mindset, and my wonderful marriage will keep getting better for it.

Cassie Sapp said...

I agree!! I find the things fall into place with much more ease when we give our time to God. As much as we try to have "it" together, we will always fall short without the guidance of our father. This week I have been telling myself that my God is bigger than my to do list, by keeping this in mind, I don't stress out over the small stuff and HE lets me know what to tackle!

Theresa Sirois said...

I had a sad go of not using the internet since I work w social media for my job lol, BUT I did "love my husband" this week by doing what I learned after the 'Wife After God' by Unveiled Wife Bible Study were his "go to" ways for me to show me I love him: make his lunch and his coffee the night before. He leaves by 5am and isn't home until 6- 7pm so this is a huge help to him and I know he appreciates it. I have spent the last several months attempting to get better at letting him lead- I am a bit OCD and a control freak LOL so I am still praying every day that God works with me on that :)

Latasha Castaneda said...

Thanks ladies. I just read ch. 8 and it opened my eyes a little bit on my husband. I just have to pray on my husbands relationship with God. I know this Saturday I will speak to my mother-in-law and ask her more on the class so I can get a little more comfortable about going. Thank you so much for praying for my family and me. I does mean a lot to know that someone is praying for us. I will also include everyone in my prayers through this journey. He has lead us to do this bible study because He knew that we needed this in our lives right now.

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed this past week's study on Chapters 4-6. Very humbling and eye-opening! I took on the challenge of doing something to making my husband happy this week, and I was very shocked and pleased with the outcome! All I did was make him a coffee (his favourite) and a cupcake and brought it to work for him. He was so happy! What a nice feeling to do good to others, especially your husband! We need to start focusing one the important things (ie. family) and not on the World's important things!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Barbara from Arizona, I've been asking the Lord for help with my Internet usage and chapter 4 was another confirmation. I love all the information out there, researching various topics. Though it may be good information, it is just that, information. Last month I realized I was reading too much stuff so I started scaling back on blogs, Facebook pages, unsubscribing from so many devotionals. I'm trying to focus on only a few so I can gain wisdom and apply to my life. I’ve had a love hate relationship with Facebook. It can be used as a Ministry so I try to focus on praying for friends while scrolling the news feed or post encouragement, even wishing someone a Happy Birthday can brighten their day. I get disgusted with some of the nonsense I see so I haven’t been going on as much. I do a periodic clean up of friends and pages. I know people watch the Ticker where they can see what you Like and Comment on, so I try to be positive and like things that may be helpful.

I have been a stay at home wife for 1.5 years and I believe the Lord has allowed this time for various reasons. One reason is for me to take care of my husband more with the small, every day things. I have to admit, I don’t really like making breakfast (or cooking, period), or packing his lunch. I realized I don’t have to like it, but I’ve done it out of obedience and with a grateful heart that my husband has a job to go to. I try hard to be aware of my attitude in the morning so that I do not give him the impression that he is inconveniencing me. Every morning I begin my day with my quiet time and recently moved my location to the kitchen table rather than my desk area where I get easily distracted. This helps set the morning in peace within my heart. I give him love notes in his lunch or pack a surprise. I love him by texting him “I’m praying for you today” or “I miss you”.

I’m enjoying this study and even though I’ve been married over 30 years, it is always good to have reminders and refreshing ideas. God Bless each one of you! Barbara

Gale Wilkinson said...

Since the first of September i do my daily Bible study first thing in the morning. I do Bible study through Good Morning Girls so I do get on the computer for the daily readings and digging deeper questions. But I don't surf or read emails and etc. My mother would get up every morning and say "this is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be gladin it". Lately i have been doing the same thing. The first day I woke up with a headache, but I went ahead and said it and my headache was gone. I love spending time with the Lord first thing in the morning before doing anything else.

Gale Wilkinson said...

I am in a similar boat except that I am rarely alone. We have a house full. I am 59 and recently stopped working due to disability. I have met some woNderful people on the internet. I wish that i had known about Titus 2 mentoring when i was younger. It would have been great having an older woman mentoring me, i think i could still use it now. How wonderful that you are planning to start a women's ministry at your church. I am sure you will all be blessed by it.

Gale Wilkinson said...

Coming from a generation that was not dependent on technology, i have a hard time reading without written pages and typing i stead of writing. I have a Kindle Fire and a Nook Tablet and between them have close to 2000 books, but i still go to the library to get books. I have the Bible in several versions on both devices but would rather use one of the many Bibles. I love the technology but there is nothing like the feel of a book in your hands

GHaston said...

I have really enjoyed reading Courtney's book as well as your blog! I am a working mom....though I hesitate to say it like that because all moms work in different ways. My husband and I are both teachers. :) The Titus 2 mentorship is something I have decided to make a matter of prayer. I would love a mentor because most of my friends in the same stage of life are SAHMs. I often feel lonely and wish I could talk to someone who understands my struggles to balance school and motherhood/home life. My husband is a wonderful man and I share a lot with him, but I think it would be good to hear from a woman who has walked this road before me. I am going to pray God will bring this woman into my life and lay me on her heart as well, and actively pursue relationships with older women in our church as well. I also was convicted about the amount of screen time I participate in during the day. We have, over the past few months, made the decision to first, get rid of one TV (we now only have one in the den) and then last month we decided to get rid of all cable as well. That has cut down on time in front of the TV, but I also have been guilty of checking Facebook before I do anything else in the morning...I managed to spend time with The Lord a couple days this week instead of automatically reaching for the phone. It has made a difference in my attitude and my general outlook on life at school and at home. Thanks for the encouragement you are giving this mama's heart! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mandy,
I have been following your blog for some time now and it is one of my favorites! I am reading the book and doing the study and it has been wonderful! I don't comment a lot but wanted to you to know I am following along and appreciate all you do! God Bless!

Loving Songstress said...

Jennifer,

Chapter 6 was also an eye opener for me. Especially about not waiting for him to do his part. I struggle with the feeling of him getting away with not doing his part. Now, I am committed to the daily "dying to self" of doing my part and trusting God to take care of my husband. Also, allowing God to help me with the part in me that feels like I am being shorted. Oh how my earthly nature likes justice and fairness.

Loving Songstress said...

One thing I have started doing is having quiet time during my kids' naptime. I have a 7 week-old and two year-old whose naps don't coincide yet. So it is hard to nap. Therefore, sleep at night is important. This is what I could commit to right now instead of waking up earlier. So far, it has proved beneficial and I am able to keep it, thank God!

Also, we are in a new area of town where I have yet to develop any close friends. I am praying for a godly female with whom I can be friends and provide mutual accountability. With two babies, a new area, and a hubby that is working long hours, I am craving godly friendship. Thank you for hosting this study! It is helping until I am ready to go back to church with the baby!

Lisa Muck said...

I still light my candle every morning! Now instead of Facebook being my first stop, it's my daily reading from the Year through the Bible and my daily devotion! Has made a huge impact on my day. It has been so fun to go back and read this book again. Never get tired of it, find new things every time.

The Borns said...

This was a great reminder of why I've started doing things the way I'm doing them! I loved reading all your comments (which I'm behind on...because of my limited computer usage...I've created this myself! :) The hardest part...which I'm working on...and I felt Courtney's pain...that darn computer just calls...all the time...I've turned down t he volume on the *dings!* for a new PM, but that need to physically head over and "make sure no one needs me" Ha! is sometimes overwhelming! But...I've started not turning it on until devotions are done...and kids are ready and set up with their morning school!
One thing that has helped me limiting my time as an app called stayfocused! It's for Google Chrome, but it's great! I have a half hour....and I'm to a point, where I don't even use it all most days! :) . . .and now that I've stared the process...people know I'm not there, so there's not as many things to partake in. I've also limited my fb to friends that I actually talk to, my homeschool stuff, and my spiritual stuff...tada!
I've loved reading this book...and stalking all your comments...such info and insight is gleaned from you more experienced ladies :)
Thank you for sharing your experiences!

jeana said...

Hello! I'm a tad behind, haha. I am loving this study. I love reading everyone's thoughts on it as well. I have been making myself put my phone down first thing in the morning and getting straight to Bible Study. I started the bad habit of checking my phone first because if I move or turn on a lamp, all my boys wake up haha! I decided that if they do, they can go ahead and start their own quiet time. Win-win. To stay offline all day I have been making sure we get chores and school done, and then I plan a small project like art with he boys, or organizing, or even friends coming over in the afternoon just to keep me offline. This also in a round about way blesses my husband because I get the housework done and I'm motivated to look decent when you meet with friends in your house often :) I also made a list of several things I know my husband would appreciate me doing for him like back rubs, dessert, and keeping the car clean. I know that I've been disrespectful and pouty in the past, so I'm definitely making sure I watch myself so that he feels highly respected, not only from me, but from our boys as well.

Jeana

Anonymous said...

Sorry for being so late. I had my answers done just couldn't find the time to post them.

#1 I spend at least 8 hours a day at the screen this is because I work outside the home and I use it for work.
I spend about 2 hours a week at the screen at home.

#2 Some comparison with other bloggers, tweeters, etc. Some inspiration, some guilt and condemnation. But it also gives me blog ideas, Bible study accountability and community.

#3 I read first then computer second.

#4 I do Good Morning girls study with a group and I lead a Twitter Hello Morning group.

#5 Yes, I am a helper to my husband. I maintain our home, kids, bills and food preparation.

#6 Sometimes I seek the praise of others outside my home.

#7 My husband loves steak and kool aid. He loves peanut M&M's and my undivided attention.

#8 I make it a point every time I am at the store to pick him up a bag of M&M's and to give him my undivided attention when we are together.

#9 The Word of God commands it.

#10. Final decisions are made by my husband and we all abide by them.

M. Waters

Anonymous said...

I don't have the book but am just following along on here, and I SO need this! I spend way too much time on facebook! I'm a stay at home mom and wife to two little ones and facebook is a way for me to just talk and be in the company of others. I get very lonely, i'm far away from my family, but I need to control it and spend my time more wisely! I also have been slacking on devotional time...I have a 4 week old baby and it's been so difficult to get up in the morning. Could someone please tell me the 5 ways to respect my husband?? I very much need to work on that and would love to have those 5 things in my mind or on the bathroom mirror!

Monica said...

Hi, I'm Monica, and I'm late to the party as usual. I've been married for about a month and a half, and I am trying to be a better wife every day. I am following this book study and writing all my answers in a journal. I'll just answer your highlighted questions in this post:

Did you make any changes to the way you spend time on the internet this week?
The sad reality of my life is that I am a Social Media Advisor for a government organization. It was literally the only way that I could get full-time employment right now and I thought it would be fun. But instead I just spend my whole work day on various social media platforms, talking about social media, planning social media and executing those social media plans. When I get home, instead of taking a break, I head to my own computer and check my PERSONAL social media platforms. The reason for this is that I believe my personal social media use should be to stay connected with my friends and family as I live on the other side of the country from most of them. But what I find happening is that I just passively observe what other people are doing and I don't actually interact because I have been interacting on that level ALL DAY LONG. I find myself staring at a screen for 10+ hours a day during the week because of this, and I end up dropping things that should be more important. If it's not social media, it's the TV. I feel like I only read books when I go to bed, just to fall asleep. I shuffle from my office chair to the couch, and consider that to be spending quality time with my husband. We think it's okay because we watch a lot of Jeopardy and are therefore using our brains. But it's not okay, and I need to seriously cut back on all of it. It's a work in progress but I am slowly starting to figure out how to balance it all.

How did you show your husband love this week?
I love cooking, and he loves eating. So I show love to him by cooking him very tasty meals. I plan my meals in advance and make sure I have the ingredients handy so it's not a stressful experience. He always is very grateful afterwards and even does the dishes! We did the Love Languages book and his love language is touch, so I try to snuggle with him and give him a kiss whenever I can.

What does submission look like in your home? How does your husband lead you in your marriage?
This is a little point of contention with us, and it doesn't really need to be I don't think. We more or less submit to each other, or try to. I am hotheaded and stubborn, but I am trying to give him more opportunities to lead. Not by manipulating him, but by asking him lots of questions to find out what he wants, and then I try to make that happen. It's difficult when I ask him what he would like and he answers with "whatever you want". Um... NO! I asked you this question because I want to know what YOU want. See? I got frustrated just typing it, and yesterday I sort of snapped at him, saying "I wish you would just make a freaking decision!". I explained to him that it is very tiring when I have to make every decision. He's just so very laid back that as long as he has clean pants and some sort of nutrition, he's content. I don't want to be a nag though, so I have to work on my own temper and continue asking questions to ascertain his wants and needs so I can be his helper.

EsposaEnamorada said...

I've been keeping up with the reading, but haven't had a moment to post, but its for a good reason. I have been having the best quality time with my husband and daughter. We had a lovely time celebrating my birthday earlier and then we got some extra time alone because my stepdaughter stayed at her mom's for a few extra days. It's been a long time since we had quality alone time, which is hard because we are newlyweds, but have an already built family. So here are my responses:
Did you make any changes to the way you spend time on the internet this week?
Not really...I feel like I have a good balance on this. I use my cell phone to play music for my students (I am a teacher) but am rarely on a computer all day except for a quick email check. When I am home, I don't keep my laptop turned on, so chances are low that I would turn it on just to surf. Between cooking dinner, walking dog, helping my daughter with homework and church activities I don't use much technology. I did however, enjoy the idea of a technology free night after the kids have gone to bed. So these last few days my husband and I read together in bed and he even joined me in reading the WLW book one night and enjoyed it:) (I think some of the topics are universal)

How did you show your husband love this week?
We had many date nights, which is very rare for us. I got all dolled up for him and we got out of the house, we tend to be home bodies after a long work week. It was so nice because he travels so much for work, that a date night allowed us to bond again, laugh, flirt and just be silly <3 Made me feel like a newlywed again!

What does submission look like in your home? How does your husband lead you in your marriage?
We are working on balancing this out in our home. I want to submit to my husband and I want him to lead, but my husband is VERY carefree and relaxed about things and perfectly content with making decisions. Before being a teacher I was a professional event planner, so planning and organizing are a part of who I am. I have discussed wanting him to be more proactive and to take initiative, but its been a slow process. However, after having such wonderful quality time together, he really took the handle on things and we tackled getting out wedding thank you cards out, selecting new paint for our house, etc. Those things may seem minor, but I was very grateful for him taking the lead. By reading the other chapters I learned that I need to do my part and let God do his work on my husband. His leadership may not look like my leadership, but I am noticing that with a little more patience, things are turning around for the better. Also, thank God he and I are so different, we don't have room for 2 control freaks in the house! Haha!

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