Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Courageous 3.... The Resolution for Women

Ok, I am back. A wonderful break that apparently involved no blogging LOL! The break was wonderful but so very busy. For those who don’t know, the area I live in holds ‘Canada’s Largest Irish Festival’ for St. Patrick’s day and I am involved in the service club that puts it on. Needless to say I am exhausted. Cameron was sick on Thursday night…so sick that we thought he stopped breathing… but maybe I was just so exhausted that I dreamed it. He has pneumonia and a bacterial infection but doesn’t seem to have been slowed by this…I wish I could have a bit of that child’s energy!!!
So anyway, back to my blog posts on the movie Courageous. As I wrote about last time, these men drew up a contract of sorts with the promises they made regarding their role in their family. I would love to see every parent see this movie and every father take on this resolution. And as I said last time, I think it applies so much to women too…there is so much that all parents can take from this resolution.
In my research into this movie I came across a resolution for women too. It was written in response to the movie, as a way to bring women to the table so to speak…to have a way for women to be accountable for their role in a family. Today I want to take a look at it and comment on it.

The Resolution for Women
I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will love with a spirit of contentment.
I will champion God’s model for womanhood in the face of a post feminist culture. I will teach it to my daughters and encourage its support by my sons.
I will accept and celebrate my uniqueness, and will esteem and encourage the distinctions I admire in others.
I will live as a woman answerable to God and faithfully committed to His Word.
I will seek to devote the best of myself, my time, and my talents to the primary roles the Lord has entrusted to me in this phase of my life.
I will be a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak. I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.
I will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I will not tolerate evil influences even in the most justifiable form, in myself or my home, but will embrace and encourage a life of purity.
I will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and conversation in order to bring glory to the name of the Lord. I will aspire to be a suitable partner for him to help him reach his God-given potential.
I will demonstrate to my children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and will train them to respect authority and live responsibly.
I will cultivate a peaceful home where everyone can sense God’s presence not only through acts of love and service but also through the pleasant and grateful attitude with which I perform them.
I fully resolve to make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s impact in mind. I will consider my current choices in light of those who will come after me.

Wow…that is a lot to take on. So much of that does not come easily or naturally to me, to most women. We have become a culture of independent women, women who lead the household, who make the decisions, who control the day to day life, do most to all the parenting/discipline, control the finances, speak their mind and not tolerate anyone who disrespects us and maybe I’d go as bold as to say, who questions us.
It is so very hard to realize that this is NOT what God wanted. More than realizing, it is so hard to break the habits that the feminism era has brought to us. Now I am not saying that all the changes that were made were negative. By no means. Nowhere in the bible does it say that husbands can disrespect their wives, control with an iron fist and make each and every decision. What it does say is this….
Ephesians 5:22-33 (NIV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Pretty heavy stuff in a way…surely something that would get the feminist more than a bit hot under the collar. But that is because they don’t understand what Paul was really saying. They take it literally, that women are to be submissive. But that isn’t really what Paul’s intent was. Instead he was giving a directive for a voluntary yielding in love on the part of the wife. Nowhere does it say that the husbands are to control their wives. Instead it instructs the wives to take submission into their own hands. This does not deny the husband and wife's essential equality before God, which Paul mentions in Galatians 3:28, where he declares, "There is neither ... male nor female, for all are one in Christ."
Since both men and women share equality before God then why do women need to submit to their husbands? Paul tells us that wives submit to husbands as the head of the household just as Christ is the head of the church. We don’t question that we need to submit to the head of the church and thus by following this teaching, wives are doing this as an act of obedience to the Lord… by submitting to our husbands we are showing reverence for the one they submit to…the Lord.
And this submission doesn’t mean we don’t’ stand up for what we believe in, it doesn’t mean that men are always right, that we have to believe all they say to be true. What it does mean is that ultimately it needs to be the husband who leads the family. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church" (verse 25) does not mean husbands, "Be the head over your wife." Rather Paul tells them to love their wives. Paul says three simple things about this love. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (verses 25-27), as his own body (28-30), and with a passion transcending all other commitments (31-33).

The author of one site I read put Paul’s direction…his urging to the husband to set the tone of spiritual leadership in the home in a way that made it so much clearer...
At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for, and protect women in ways appropriate to a man's differing relationships."4 A husband needs to assume a certain responsibility for the spiritual growth of his wife. In order to do that, though, husbands must "give themselves" for their wives (verse 25) by laying aside many of their own personal desires and conveniences in order to fulfill a higher and prior call.

Now back to the resolution. There is a lot of pretty ‘big’ stuff in there. I know there are a great many things that I fall short on but then again, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23(NIV). I know that my views on what is ‘an evil influence’ has greatly changed in the last few months. It’s hard to break old habits, hard not to read and watch things that captivated me before but were an influence that was not one that I need or want in my life. I know that I do not always use my time wisely and in a way that is honoring to the roles that God has for me. I chose my own needs over others at times, I put myself ahead of my husband often and sometimes I put myself ahead of my kids or others in my life…others who God is trying to get me to use my talents to help and to serve. That isn’t to say that God wants us to never have time for ourselves because that is not his attention. The time we have for ourselves can, and should be, used wisely and in a way that further serves the Lord. Taking time for yourself to walk, to meditate, to pray, to think and to find a sense of peace are all ways that we can bring ourselves to a better place where we can be in the role of the woman God calls us to be. Being slow to speak, honouring my husband in my conduct and conversation (especially those about or with him around others…when I am angry or annoyed) and bringing a sense of peace to my home are areas that need an intense amount of focus. I am falling short here and I need to gather myself together and find a way to right my ways.
But all in all I think I am working hard to ‘resolve’ areas in my life so that I am the woman God wants me to be. It’s a resolution that will be an on going project but a project that moves forward.

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