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HEART * MINISTRY * MISCELLANIES *

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dear Christian Sisters...........
a MUST READ, after much prayer ~

"For Women Only" book by Shaunti Feldhahn

My dear friend (and maid of honor) gave me this book last week.......to help me get a better understanding of what it is to the wife of a God-fearing man in a culture like ours.....and although it is by far the hardest book (emotionally) that I've ever read......it is good, and helpful...
soooo good. Being able to respect, love and honor is more practical than I thought.
It's much more than just saying "I respect you" or complimenting an accomplishment of a man.....

I would caution any woman who struggles with self centeredness - not to read this book until she has prayed earnestly that God would allow her to read it with a heart that desires to understand her husband and how he's wired, with the end in mind to bless him and be more encouraging and more devoted to his good.

I only mention the caution because unfortunately, I still had and have some 'western culture' in my heart and head that is being brought to the surface to be burned away (painfully) by our faithful God. My hope is to be a blessing and a fountain of joy for Brent so that he would abound in thanksgiving to God, and see the power of God in my life as I surrender my will and my heart to be molded to be his devoted and faithful wife.
In the mix of all of the reading, I recommend thinking often about the verse in
Prov 31:12
"She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life."

I feel free when I think about how to bless him......challenged and excited..... but if I fall into the "what about jennifer?" mentality - my joy is stifled, and I feel robbed and wronged and it gets hard to see grace and to read the word with any kind of profit.

To be totally honest......the hardest chapter of the book is about wives taking care of their appearance - always. It's such a taboo in the Christian culture.....and if you mention it to some women - their response will be that they feel hurt or pressured or unloved.
(ahem, me too, if left to myself without God's grace)

It's sooo odd. We women want to be attractive to our husbands, but we don't want to be loved because of our attractiveness, we want to be loved regardless of how we look......
In the book, there were many polls taken of God-fearing men, to get to the bottom of their hearts on these issues........and I have to say....reading about how men feel when their wives don't take care of themselves was just heart breaking.....they feel like their wife does not care about them, about their happiness...and most times, the man will not dare to say a thing to his wife, because he really does love her for who she is and wouldn't want to hurt her feelings....and sometimes the men can feel as though it is sinful to want to desire his wife more physically. SO not the case brothers !
But yes, we women are very fragile in this area, because of our disgusting culture, influenced by hell itself, that perverts the good and God-given natural desire in men to desire beauty....
Both men and women seem to be crippled in their marriages because of our hyper sensual culture....and we need to fight off the worldly mindset of "looks are everything" and fight off the popular christian mindset of "looks don't matter at all or you're sinful"
God made men visual....God made women with the desire to be desirable.......it's as plain as the day is long.

On the more encouraging side - Men feel loved and honored and blessed when their wife goes out of her way to take care of her appearance.....working out, eating right, etc....WOW.
After reading that chapter and wrestling over the last 24 hours......mostly because there is an undercurrent in our Christian culture that makes it seem like men shouldn't care about their wife's appearance.......and men shouldn't be deeply attracted to their spouse's exterior nor care about it at all or they are sinful, fleshly and worldly minded.
THAT is a huge lie, trapping men between a rock and a hard place.
Truth is that they love their wives as they are, but would be blessed if the wife made efforts to be in the best shape she could, and wore a bit of makeup- even if he is the only one she's going to be around. A man feels loved and is more encouraged to fight against the culture he lives in, knowing that the wife he has is fighting for his delight in her for the glory of God.

God delights himself in his bride.....the church. Men are commanded to be intoxicated by their wives.........and I'm agreeing with this very very difficult book that out of love for God and for our husband's joy and encouragement - we women should be doing all that we can to help them obey that command to delight themselves in their own wives.

Let the sisters who are able to receive this, receive it.
God created men to admire beauty.......there's no way around it.......and to embrace it within a redeemed marriage will be a refreshing thing because of Christ.

3 Comments:

At 7/03/2007 10:05 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

Again, thanks so much for your wisdom! I'm just starting that book too actually! Hibst and Heidi told me to read it, so I bought it and am just starting to dig in. I'm excited to go through it, and am glad to know how counter-culture this book really is and how helpful it appears to be. I hope I will prayerfully soak in all that God wants me to hear and learn... because man do I have a LOT to learn... :)

 
At 7/06/2007 1:58 PM, Blogger Joanna Martens said...

Jen!! I love this so much!! What a great truth- and how true it is! Even in the secular world when I talk to unsaved husbands...they want to be committed but their wives don't care. With God's truth behind it, how blessed we are when we do it His way. It just works! I hope and pray that I can come to the place where I wholeheartily do this without the "what about joey" syndrome. God is faithful and gracious and in due season the time will come. :-)
love you much and i miss you!!!

 
At 7/10/2007 7:11 AM, Blogger Jen2 said...

Hey friends!!

Wow...you LOVE this stuff?
It made me wrestle hard for days....you must have some extra grace yo!!

Hey Joey ~
I miss you too friend !
We need to catch up soon......
PS - the wedding is officially scheduled for November 2, 2007....so if per chance you have the ability to get your back side out to MN around then.......it would be a joy to have you here to celebrate with us!! I believe Hibby is coming back, since she's in it..... so you'd have a plane mate.... :)

 

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