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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

5 Things A Married Woman Should Consider

When I did a post a couple years back on 6 Things Women (I) Want, I didn't follow up with a post for the ladies. Here it is now. In it I am speaking to Christians who went or are going into marriage as the Bible teaches. I realize that many couples are like I was and entered marriages that were broken before they were made. These things I mention are what I would have considered had my situation been better. If not for the abuse in my marriage, I would have considered these things before separating. I hope this post is a blessing to others.

Pride - Not worldly pride, but loving pride, if you can call it that. Whatever you call it, it's what will make you present your best to the world as a man's woman. It's what will make you want to represent yourself well as a Christian and married woman. Comb your hair, clean your clothes, keep your home clean. Keep your words clean. No Christian woman needs to be known for her ability to curse well, talk loud or cut someone down.

Hardworking - Don't be that woman who thinks being pampered is a ticket to laziness. If you both work outside the home, you both still have a home to care for. Take the time to prepare his meals, do his laundry and make the home nice. His job is to the the "man stuff" (and don't let the world trip you up with talk of sexism), your job is to do the "lady stuff." What's wrong with having feminine and masculine roles? If you want to start buying into what the world says about sexism gender roles, just look at where it's gotten us. If you are the sole breadwinner and there is no reason why he shouldn't be helping out, then something is wrong already.

Respect -  For your husband as your husband, a man, and a father. The world might not respect him, but he's not married to the world. Don't emasculate him. Don't parent him. Don't manipulate him. Don't try to rule over and be the "head" in the marriage.

Be his wife- You are not his "old lady" or "current thing," you are his wife. You are joined as one flesh. Don't live your marriage as if it is a temporary situation. You are married to him and not to anyone else. Your goal should not be to attract other men because you have the only man you need to be concerned with. I heard one minister remark that many woman make church leaders their "daddy" or "father." He is so right when he points out that this is disrespectful to a woman's husband and that it's not biblical. You are not married to your pastor, bishop, reverend or whoever. Your husband is your head in your home and family.

Be Feminine -  Again, don't listen to what the world says about gender roles. Assuming the man married you because you are a woman, be a woman and let him be a man. Don't try to take on his duties in the home. If he can't do something well at first, he can learn. He can't learn if you are always taking over and doing them for him. Be womanly and desirable to him. If his heart is right with the Lord, he won't take advantage or abuse that situation.

2Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.    23For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. 24As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
    25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, 27That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. 28Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30Because we are members (parts) of His body.
    31For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. 33However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[a]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [b]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. Eph 5:22-33


FLASHBACK: 6 Things Women (I) Want In A Man

Looking back on posts I did prior to renewing my commitment to Christ, I see so much that I would like to amend. I will be doing that in a series of "Flashback" post.

I did one post a couple years ago called "6 Things Women (I) Want In A Man." I really don't want to change much about it except to advice readers to look at Ephesians5 and add a couple of points:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (Eph 5:22-33 ESV)

 Be someone she can submit to and feel safe in doing so.

Be the head without being big-headed.

Love her as Christ loves us.

When I wrote the original post, I don't think I followed up on my promise to do a post for the ladies. That's coming up!

In My Sarc Shoes

You know that old saying about walking a mile in someone's shoes, right? Well, I'm learning what it is to walk a mile in the shoes of someone with a chronic illness.

I wasn't going to post about it because I've been trying to be all "keep your head up" about it. When a Twitter friend asked me about how I was doing, I almost gave the usual polite response until it dawned on me that speaking up might help others. I have run across other blogs and forums where people have spoken up about their experience with Sarc and that's helped me. So, my turn.

When I was first diagnosed I was told how rare Sarcoidosis is supposed to be, but within weeks of telling people I had it, I found out about 3 people in my area who also have it. One person is a guy I used to work with, another is an acquaintance of his and still another is a member of a family I am fairly close to. Later I learned that possibly tens of thousands of people in the U.S. alone may suffer from it.

There's no relief in knowing that I am not alone or part of some minority. It would be easier, I think, to have some disease that's more well-known - both for the treatment and the understanding. What's most frustrating about dealing with the effects of Sarc is that no one seems to really understand what it feels like. If I had, say, diabetes or had suffered a stroke, at least people could empathize when I described a symptom. In the case of Sarc even I don't know all the symptoms so I'm constantly worried.

The other day I just went into the bathroom and cried for half an hour. Why? Well, let's see, my back aches and I don't know why. My eyes feel swollen and itchy and sometimes are red for hours. And I don't know why. When I walk for any amount of time, my legs get tired and heavy and I'm worn out like I've run a marathon. And I don't know why. I break out into sweats at any given moment. And I don't know why. Worst of all, my brain seems to go on hiatus at various times, making me feel completely stupid and incompetent. And I don't know why. I feel so cranky all the time. And I don't know why. I feel great for a time and then fatigue slams into me like a wall. And I don't know why. Parts of my face, arms and legs go numb for whatever reason... Don't even get me started on what the medication does to me. The prednisone has me swollen to 40-plus pounds over my usual weight. The methrotrexate has my hair dry and falling out. My cuticles are dry, cracky and they hurt to touch anything.

I'm only 50 years old. I feel some days as if I am going on 80.

My best comfort has been in talking with the guy I used to work with. I find myself calling him up or texting him to ask ridiculous things like "Do you get the really horrible back ache for no reason?" Or, "This sounds crazy, but do you lose your train of thought right in the middle of doing something?" And I can't tell you how relieved I feel when he can say that the same thing happens to him. With other people, I don't think they take serious how scared it makes me feel. They care but they don't understand. How can they when I don't understand it either.

So, I am walking that mile. And it's so hard. It's hard not to feel sorry for myself. It's hard not to be upset at people who just seem to be clueless about how I feel.

That's all the bad stuff. Now, the blessings:

I know that God has a plan. He's never let me go through anything without a lesson. So, what have I learned or gotten out of this nightmare of Sarc?

I have been humbled, which is never a bad thing! I have gained compassion for anyone dealing with an illness or some other situation out of their control. I have been forced to do more praying and thinking and sitting still. I have received kindness and support from unlikely sources. I have learned to appreciate the things I can still do.

Most of all, I appreciate being humbled. One of my sins was my ego. It was easy for me to look at a person who didn't have what I had or wasn't able to do what I could do and dismiss them. I'd shrug them off as not worthy. I didn't consider what might have brought them to the place they were at and was holding them there. Now I understand that, for all I knew, God might have been working on them the way He is working on me. I've learned not to try to be all-knowing about people and their situation. I've learned that I am not as wise as I might like to think! lol

God has had to break me to make me.

Whew! I think I feel better getting all that off my chest. In the meantime, I hope that my Christian brothers and sister will pray for me. Pray that God's will be done.

Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
    And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
    Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)