Women Living Well book study: Chapters 10-12 discussion + new study guide

This post is the part of the WLW book study series- you can find all the details and the previous posts in the study here!

Chapter 10- The Completing Him Marriage Challenge Week 2

Okay, so I've really enjoyed these marriage challenges over the last two weeks! I was terrible at doing them in order {and did some of them on the same days}, but I think they were still a success. Some challenges were easier- instead of cooking his favorite meal, we went to Chuy's and got most of his favorites in one place {he said those were his favorites- and I was all in!}. And on Thursday he requested a dessert {something he never, ever does}, and it made me incredibly happy to make brownies for him.

Rob's love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. I'm usually pretty good with the touch one I think, but the words of affirmation are always so much harder to give. Why is that?? I do it every now and then, but I'm trying to become more consistent in doing it more often.

I thought about this quote a lot this week:

It's so crazy how well you remember kind words, isn't it? What love it is to tell someone affirming words from your heart! Even if it isn't their love language, it means so much. And if it is- even better!

And the respect challenge- that was interesting! :) I asked him what made him feel disrespected and he said, he feels disrespected by me offering to drive {I never, ever drive when we're together!}, opening my own door, or me trying to mow the lawn {I've only done that once, ever, and it was not with his approval- it was a surprise and I almost couldn't start the mower!}. I asked him about a few of my own ideas- things I think would make him feel disrespected, and he agreed with me- many of them were on page 107!

As far as respecting him goes: I think thanking him often for what he does, asking for his opinion, and giving those words of affirmation really seems to be important in our marriage.

I feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful husband and a sweet marriage with him- and this challenge really brought us closer than we were before. I was so happy with it!! :)

Chapter 11- The Influence of a Mother

This entire chapter on the influence of mothers reminded me so much of this quote:

Oh how I long for my children to walk in the truth! And to think of the great responsibility it is to lead them, train them, and teach them seems overwhelming to me. I know I can't do it on my own, and that no good would come from me if I tried! I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit changes hearts and lives through the power of what Jesus did on the cross. I am so grateful for the Helper that teaches me what I need to know and gives me guidance to do this VERY hard parenting thing!

I'm praying more that I will show servant leadership to my family. I want them to remember a mama who didn't complain, who listened, who loved with all of her heart. I want to show them what it is like to be like Jesus- to turn the other cheek- to do more than is asked of me- to lay down my life and wants for others.

It's seems like a hard balance to be a mother who is training little people and teaching them to care for themselves and a servant to them at the same time, but I know the Lord will lead me the right way when I seek Him so that I can decide in a moment how to lead them the best way.

Chapter 12- Parenting in the Digital Age

This was a short chapter- but there's so much to talk about here! We live in a media saturated world, and it's so strange to think that our children are being raised in it.

In our home, what we watch is a huge deal to us. Strangely enough, while we started out on a very different path {watching everything}, from the very beginning we have been very strict on what our children watch. We have even learned over the years {by trial and error!} that very clean cartoons on PBS can have very bad attitudes that are easily mimicked by even the smallest of our children.

I don't talk about this much because I know every family is different, and what we do in our own family should be up to the Spirit's leading, not a set of rules made by man. I can only say what the Lord has worked on in our hearts about these matters, and tell you the fruit that it has produced in our lives.

We only have children 10 and under right now, but we have found that video games and movies greatly affect the way our children behave. We have had seasons where we allowed them to spend a few hours a day in front of a screen watching cartoons and playing video games, and within a few days we saw so much more disobedience and whining, as well as a huge increase in bad attitudes and fighting between the children.

When those things happen, we suddenly realize we've let TV slip in way too much, and we turn it off altogether. And it even happens when they just get too much time in front of a screen- like playing non-violent wii games such as Mario. It's crazy, but it has happened over and over again before we realized why. Limiting the quantity of their intake has become very important to us over the years.

I've found it's really the hardest to monitor the quality of their media intake when the children are out of my care: when we're at the gym, the homes of others, and even sometimes when we go out to eat at a restaurant {together!}. I struggle with this so much, because it's very important to me, and I can't always control what they see when they are in the care of other people, even when I try my hardest to communicate what they aren't allowed to watch.

Even just watching innocent shows on cable TV can show them a wide range of awful commercials. :( I just really want to keep their minds pure and holy- because Courtney is so right- "your eyes take in images that your mind cannot erase." {p. 134}. You can't take them back. Ever. I know I can remember so many things I wish I'd never seen in my 31 years.

This is where we've really tried to communicate to our kids what they are and aren't allowed to watch anywhere and why. We do have rules, but it's not about rules- it's about keeping our hearts and minds pure before God. I can't stress that enough to them or to myself {or to you :)}. I don't want to fill my heart and mind with evil things, and I don't want to let my children do that either, you know?

It's so hard, but so important to me- and I know it was a work of the Holy Spirit on my behalf that He rescued me from watching more and more and more evil {and loving it}. I am comforted and encouraged by this verse in Proverbs 8:13: "The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." And it's good for me to remember why: "For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you." Psalms 5:4. 

Evil does not bring delight to God or dwell with Him. Isn't that so heavy? Oh, it hits my heart so strongly! This is serious business.

I want to fear the Lord more than anything or anyone else- I don't want to love or enjoy watching things God says He hates. What do I profit by doing it? When is it really ever worth it to expose my eyes and my mind to wickedness? How many degrees of pretend wickedness is "okay"? I'm so not perfect here- not by any means- but I long with all my heart to be what God wants me to be.

My heart also longs for my children to walk in the truth- to be even more ahead in their walk with God than I was and not make the same mistakes I did.  I pray for them to be able to discern what is good and right and pure on their own through the Holy Spirit, and that they would not love evil, or watching it- now and even more so the older they get. It is a dangerous place for them to go. I've been there and I know.

I know He will guide us- if we ask Him, He will show us what is good to watch, or what is not. He definitely does not leave us alone in this!

I was really encouraged by the closing of this chapter- maybe you were too?
Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The child who is loved and has a healthy fear of God will eventually be able to monitor his or her own media. A child who daily is in God’s Word and desires to please Him will be sensitive to the junk that media offers and will practice self-control. So we must parent toward this goal: to raise children who love and fear God and who walk with the King! {p. 130}
Oh, that we may walk with the King in every area of our lives and teach our little ones how to do the same. It is possible, with the help of our Lord. He can do it in us!! Isn't that so very exciting? :D

So tell me- what did you think about these 3 chapters? What really stood out to you?

How do you communicate media guidelines to your children? What has worked for your family?

And please share how your challenge went this week! I'd love to hear!


Anonymous said...

First of all, this book and blog has given me a new perspective that should have been evident to me all along. Sadly, I had put my role as wife on the back burner to focus on my children and home. Not anymore!! I really soaked in what Courtney's book and The Book had to say about being a Godly wife and my marriage is so much better for it.
I really enjoyed the challenges. I would say the prioritizing challenge and the admiration letter were the two that stood out for me. My husband really appreciated his letter and I found out new things about him when I asked him to prioritize the things I do. I still haven't done the Respect challenge, but I can't wait.
I really enjoyed Courtney's story about her mother's spiritual growth. I, too, am soaking it all in! As far as media is concerned, I've always carefully monitored what our children watch. It is a struggle, but I tell my kids that I won't always be around and I want them to able to decide for themselves what God wants them to put in their minds. I just pray I'm doing it right (or even close)! :)

Stephanie Fereday Liebert said...

I had such a great time with the challenge! My husband loves every minute of it. I have not made his favorite meal yet because we had already gone shopping and I am waiting until it is shopping day again. However, he did give me a list of top things he likes and have an appetizer, meal, dessert and drink all picked out. I feel like we have a great marriage and this just made it even better. I am so blessed to have him as my partner.

My mom and I were talking this morning about how being a wife and mother are the most important jobs around. How lucky are we that God gave us little ones to raise?! He thought enough of us to put them in our care. Yes, I mess up daily, but with His help I keep going. His mercies are new daily and thankfully my children and husband feel that way as well. My parents instilled in me a love of the Lord and I want to instill that in my children as well. It makes me ecstatic when my daughter (10) talks to me about the Bible or I see her sitting in her daddy's lap reading scriptures together. My baby is only 17 mos. but I will be teaching him the same way.

As far as media, we turned off our cable in January. We only have Netflix. I thought I would miss it but I do not. This is the first year of homeschooling and we are busy all the time! Not only do we have school work daily, but we are in a homeschooling group and go on field trips and the park, etc. I also teach part-time online and of course have the regular mom and wife stuff to do. My husband and I have a couple of shows we like and lay in bed at night and watch them. Our children watch very little TV and if it is on it is Thomas the Train or Super Readers (we do have an antenna that catches a couple local things). I was never one for most of the Disney teen shows because, like you, I thought they were disrespectful and had a great deal of attitude. We have enough of that already! Our daughter is only allowed to spend the night with a couple of people and they respect our views. In fact, if they think there may be a question they call me and ask. These are my babies and I do not have to apologize for how we raise them. God gave them to me and my husband and I will do what we think is right and hope to raise them to be wonderful adults.

Jennifer Neer said...

We also see a difference in focus for our 10 year old son after playing video games so we have limited only to Saturday otherwise he can't focus Monday for school. We have a 17 and 13 year old girls also. For our chore system they earn points for things and spend them on TV, movie, or computer time. This is at half hour limits. We also use an online school so with all the screen time during the week we try to have no screens Sunday.
As for mom influence from day one you can incorporate teaching of Gods love in their lulibys and music and in Gods creation. When they are totelers in their hundreds of questions, how is God involved? We also talked about sin and when you lie etc. it puts a black spot on your heart so though you may think mom and dad don't know God knows and we need to ask His forgiveness.
One thing I was wondering was in CH 11 and our husbands leading Spiritually. In earlier chapters we were told to let him take the lead but in this one to take the reigns. How do we do this because I've always felt if I don't he won't? How can we encourage them to take the lead?

Shonda said...

One thing that really stood out to me was this sentence:"It's not good to spoil your children, but it's OK to spoil your husband." I used to do so many spoiling things for husband before we had children and then BOOM, nothing! I feel so torn, but I know that I need to put my husband at the top of the list. I'm homeschooling as well with 2 little ones. I feel like that alone is overwhelming. I'm starting to use more of his love languages in my interaction with him. I hope to sneak in these challenges through the next few months. Thank you for this great study!! I am absolutely loving it and gaining so much more than by just reading through it.

Anonymous said...

With regards to watching tv, when my husband and I first got married, we used to watch almost anything. We have never had television in our home, but we had movies, rented movies, had netflix, etc. But once I got pregnant with our first, the Lord really opened our eyes and got us thinking about the things we watch and how we would be raising a family. We now have Amazon Prime with instant stream videos (kinda like netflix). We threw away all of our filthy movies, and we now mostly watch oldies like The Bananza show or Andy Griffith Show (i'm only 21 but i LOVE those!) :) I don't have the book that you're reading, but I've been reading all your posts and been following along that way, and it might have already been mentioned in the book, but I want to share Psalm 101 2b-3a. It says, "I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless." I've got that verse written on my bathroom mirror and it constantly reminds me to be careful what I let my eyes see whether it be on the internet or on movies. I love that quote you put up..."your eyes take in images that your mind cannot erase." SO TRUE. I still remember things from when I was little that terrified me.....and they are stuck in my brain forever. My husband and I are constantly having to be reminded from the Lord that even though some thiings on movies are perfectly harmless to us, they can have great effect on our children's minds. Forever. Set NOTHING worthless before your eyes!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just started the study last week.  So far, I have been so very blessed by this book.  Chapter 11 was challenging and rewarding! Her challenges were very impactful to my marriage.  Being married almost 3yrs, I knew I had somehow just let the love languages fade away.  It gets hard with both of us working full time and having a new baby.  However, I don’t want to forget what the Lords asks of me to put as priority.  And after putting God as my #1, my husband has to come next..no matter what.  His love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch.  So simple yet I tend to forget both! I really wanted him to feel loved and respected.  He did notice that I was being more affectionate and kind with my words.  What a diff this has made for our marriage. 
At the beginning of Chapter 12, the quote from Elizabeth George was so impactful! She said that raising our children is life’s most difficult assignment, but it is also life’s most rewarding.  That truly pierced my heart.  I have two step children, both boys in their tween years.   It’s hard to parent children that are not with you full time.  But I know that God has a plan for me and for them, and that I need to continue to stay in the course that He has given me.  One thing I can do full time is pray for them! That question in our study guide was challenging and convicting because I realized I don’t pray for enough.  So, I’ve set it in motion to pray for them daily, and it might sound corny but I’ve put a reminder on my phone to pray for them throughout the day. It helps me! We also have our little one who is 15 month old.  We look forward to all of them being Godly men! Thanks for started this wonderful study, looking forward to the next three chapters!

Aimee Niblack said...

I think your question about husbands leading is a tough one. Earlier chapters talked about how he is the leader, but just may not be doing a good job. I think asking their opinion, letting them make major decisions, etc, are ways to let them lead. However, if they don't lead in family devotions or something like that, that is when we as wives step up and do it with our children. I know my husband would not feel respected if I gave him a hard time about not leading in this area. In time, maybe he will see how important the spiritual side of leading is and step up. I'm curious to others' thoughts as well.

Aimee Niblack said...

I'm still working through the challenges. We've had bad colds and stomach bugs going through the house over the past several weeks (me included), so it has unfortunately taken my focus off the challenges. I've finished the first 4 and wrote out my list for 5. DH really loved my list of things I love about him. :) I thought the chapters on parenting were great as well. I think so many mothers do not realize the impact they have on the lives of their children. However, once you do realize it, it's kinda scary!! I mess up so much, but am praying that I continue to grow as a parent, and that my children learn to love God with all of their hearts. Mandy, I especially love the verse you posted and may need to print that one out as well. A soft tongue is a huge struggle for me. I get impatient way too easily, and I really want to be a more gentle mother. As for media, overall we are very careful about what our children watch, but it can be hard when they are in the care of others. I also don't let them watch too much. I want to teach them to make smart media choices when they are older (my oldest is 8). I'm looking forward to the next chapters and finishing out the marriage challenge.

Misty aka Elvisgirl said...

I am two weeks behind. We are finally finishing up a house project that started back in April; and my we celebrate all 4 of our birthdays almost every two weeks, from the end of Sept till almost the end of Nov. I am both excited and a little frightened by these challenges you all are talking about. Love the verse Kaylee shared with us. Everyone is so encouraging!

Mandy said...

I am so thrilled to hear such a great report!! :D yay!!! I can't wait to hear how your respect challenge goes! It sounds like you are doing the right thing when it comes to media- I think we all wonder and pray for the same things! so glad you're here, Beth!! :D

Mandy said...

I love your great attitude! I know what you mean about busy too- we stay busy even without much TV, I so often wonder how we had time to watch it before! :) it sounds like you're doing such a good job! :D

Mandy said...

that is such a good reminder- I didn't even remember that line! but you're so right- it's easy to be distracted by the great load around us and forget to do sweet things! :) I can't wait to hear how your challenges play out! :)

Mandy said...

oh yes- new babies do make it so hard, and working too! I'm so glad to hear how things are changing with the smallest of actions! yay!! it's so encouraging to me! and I LOVE the reminder idea. I need to do it as well!

Mandy said...

I totally know how you feel! I mess up so much but I'm so thankful our God is bigger than our mistakes or sins! He is so good to us isn't he? :D so thankful to hear from you Aimee!! :)

Anonymous said...

This is my first time to this site and find it very interesting. My 4 1/2 year old daughter loves Bible stories, movies, listening to Christian music, and going to children's church. As a mom, I try to instill in her a deep love and appreciation for God and His ways. We really watch carefully what she watches and "reads" (she loves books but can't read just yet). She doesnt watch regular TV. She used to like the PBS shows like Sid the Science Kid but not so much any more. We do let her watch some shows on Disney Jr in the morning and she is allowed to watch G rated (usually Disney) movies if I have seen them first. (Good example of why I do that is the movie The Princess and The Frog - I was shocked at how casually they treated voodoo!). I explain about the movies she cant watch and why but I'm afraid of talking over her head. Any suggestions about how I talk to her at her level would be appreciated! Also, could you give examples of the shows that you found encouraged the bad behavior?
Thank you and God Bless,

Sophie from france said...

I'm late in reading this book ... maybe because I have to translate every time I read, and it takes me an extra effort!
But I read all your text and comments. About medias, it's also very difficult. We don't have tv, we control access to dvd and games, but we can't control it outside and this is often a source of worry. I feel that we are the only ones to think that what we see is important! And my olders don't always understand why we prohibit their particular movie that all their friends have seen...but I surprised them to hide eyes of the smaller if they find a scene is not for them!

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog on Facebook! I love everything am reading! I especially connect with what we allow our kids to watch. I agree completely with your views concerning what we allow them to watch. I always remind my kids of the psalmist words in psalm 101:3, "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes, I hate the works of those that turn away, it shall not cling to me..." Most of these movies and video games are produced by pple without the love or dear of God and yet we allow our precious kids to consume their works. We won't even allow most of them near our kids! But allow our kids to watch their works. Thanks for talking about this, I needed to be reminded.

Anonymous said...

This is my first time to this site and find it very interesting. My 4 1/2 year old daughter loves Bible stories, movies, listening to Christian music, and going to children's church. As a mom, I try to instill in her a deep love and appreciation for God and His ways. We really watch carefully what she watches and "reads" (she loves books but can't read just yet). She doesnt watch regular TV. She used to like the PBS shows like Sid the Science Kid but not so much any more. We do let her watch some shows on Disney Jr in the morning and she is allowed to watch G rated (usually Disney) movies if I have seen them first. (Good example of why I do that is the movie The Princess and The Frog - I was shocked at how casually they treated voodoo!). I explain about the movies she cant watch and why but I'm afraid of talking over her head. Any suggestions about how I talk to her at her level would be appreciated! Also, could you give examples of the shows that you found encouraged the bad behavior?
Thank you and God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Hi Mandy! I have been following your blog (in silence :)) for a couple of years now. I can't believe that I've never actually commented! You have inspired me in so many ways. From your devotion to Christ and your heart for people, to your diy projects and your thrifting adventures. I have really enjoyed getting to know a little about you through your blog.
So, recently I have been considering starting my own blog and I was wondering if you have any tips or advice on getting started. I have some ideas for what I would like to blog about but as far as the setting up of the site, I'm not very confident. There seems to be so much out there and I want to make wise decisions. My husband is definitely the more technologically savvy of the two of us, but this is something that neither one of us have ever done. ANY recommendations or direction that you could give would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much for being a voice for Godly, Biblical womanhood. You have blessed my life.

- Katie R. from Georgia

Maria T. said...

I'm with you on this one as well. I do most of the spiritual teaching to our son. I'm the one who makes sure he is signed up for faith formation at our church. We are Catholics and I want my son to have all the teachings and sacraments that I had. When I first met my husband he was a non practicing Catholic and I made it very clear that I wanted my children to be raised Catholics. We each had a son from separate marriages that were raised Catholic as well. They are both adults now and really don't practice any religion. I want our youngest son to know God and follow him even when he is an adult. He is 8 years old and wants us to read from his bible at bed time. That makes me very happy and makes bed time very special for the both of us. My husband does not do this with him when it's his turn to put him to sleep. So therefore I have to be the spiritual leader. I know my husband does not mind or feel disrespected in this area.