Raising Daughters of Grace, Beauty and Loveliness

Raising Daughters of Grace, Beauty and Loveliness

 


Loveliness.  Grace.  True Beauty.

You recognize it when you see it.  But it’s becoming rare.  And in the insanity of our transgender culture, it’s completely upside down and no doubt, more confusing than ever for those of us trying to wade through the confusion.

There was a day, I believe, where women were more cherished (despite what many believe) and treated like ladies and they played the part.  Being delicate was not a weakness and acting like a female was actually recognized for the power it holds.  Women were comfortable and strong in their femininity and didn’t feel the need to compete with the toughness of the other gender.

Value or De-valued?

In our day, we have clamored our way out of  “female oppression”, roaring all the way.  And it shows. The once-covered, beautifully-adorned lady walks unashamed with her undergarments showing and a strategically placed tattoo in case we didn’t notice.  (Funny how this springs from a generation of women demanding to be valued compared to a time when we were too valuable for such display.)  She is often loud, inconsiderate and speaks of subjects once overheard in only the basest of conversations. And in all our clamoring to be equal and valued, pornography continues to be one of the most lucrative industries on the globe, with the dignity of women squashed beneath its weight.

Raising girls to be lovely and feminine creates a special challenge in the 21st century.  We are going against the grain and our girls have competing role models on every side.  Whether it’s the bare-thighed, wide-standing teen on a full-sized poster at the mall telling them how they should look or just the girl next door, loveliness eludes us.

And this is not about a certain dress code or standard–each family must arrive at its own.  But there are some basic observations from Scripture that I think are worthy considerations as we raise daughters of the King.

Consider these lists of a virtuous woman and her counterpart:

A virtuous woman (from Proverbs 31):

  • is clothed with strength and dignity
  • has the law of kindness on her tongue
  • is reverent
  • is self-governed (sober)
  • is pure

The Scriptural counterpart of a virtuous woman is:

  • loud and boisterous (clamorous) (Proverbs 9:13) (Note:  “The word translated “clamorous” includes not only the stridency of her voice, but the spectacle of her appearance, as that of a harlot’s apparel.”   -Heraldmag.org)
  • always outside the home (Proverbs 7:11)
  • defiant (Proverbs 7:11)
  • forward, aggressive (Proverbs 7:13)
  • immodest

In as much as we reflect grace, beauty and loveliness, we have the opportunity to reflect our part of God’s crowning work of Creation when He made them male and female.  Because man and woman are made in His image, we can only see the fullness of who God is through the attributes that each displays.  Where we attempt to blur distinctions that He created, or covet characteristics that are not ours, we sling mud across the human masterpiece that He so tenderly constructed.

Practical Advice

On a more practical note, how can we cultivate a “spirit of loveliness” in our daughters?

Have we even pondered what “loveliness” looks like?  Have we even thought about how our tone, our expressions, our sense of humor, our speech reflects the glory of God?

I have to admit that even as I extol these virtues in my heart, I don’t always practice them or teach my daughters to do so.  Just one small example:  not too long ago, girls understood that it was  inappropriate to yell or be boisterous.  This behavior is given little, if any consideration today.  I have a girl who is more loud than the others.  I have begun to work with her about “letting her speech be always with grace” and “being kind with her voice.”

It’s not about squelching uniqueness, but rather that some need a little more help with self-government than others, always checking that our behavior is “others-oriented”; this is the greatest commandment.

I lean heavily on the effects of Philippians 4:8:

“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

What are they reading, listening to, watching, observing–who are their companions?

How do we behave in front of them?

Do we handle ourselves with grace and loveliness?

I’ve pondered this a lot lately and just wanted to share my thoughts.  I’d love to hear yours!

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112 Responses to “Raising Daughters of Grace, Beauty and Loveliness”

  1. Tawny says:

    Kelly,
    As always, GREAT POST!
    I have been pondering how to cultivate alot of these traits in my own heart. I am “naturally” a loud boastful women. I was loud and boastful as a girl!

    I have some great Godly friends. They are these beautiful quiet Christian women! Even when “yelling” at their children they are quiet and handle things with such care, love, grace, and self control!

    I so want to be that strong Christian women with a spirit that shines through rather than a voice that calls out!

    Thanks for your encouraging post!
    Tawny

  2. Renata says:

    Oh Kelly – great topic – I’ve also been working on cultivating a more “quiet & gentle” spirit in myself – in the hopes to teach my daughter as well. It seems I think I’ve got it all sorted & then I get tired, or homones strike & I’m back to raising my voice & being too harsh with my precious children. I’ll keep on trying & keep on praying.
    Thanks for a great post
    Renata:)

  3. Jennifer says:

    Beautifully covered every point, Kelly.

    And I like that you showed a pic of a woman who’s lovely and graceful, but not Victorian! 😉

  4. Tawny says:

    Hey Kelly,
    I was just curious – this is something I’ve really been pondering and convicted with
    as of late – can you recomend any good books, bible studies, links, or other articles to help me in this area?! Thanks!

  5. Kim M says:

    I love this post. I don’t have girls but it spoke to my heart and how I need to behave. Thank you.

  6. SavedbyGrace says:

    “too valuable for such display” Love it! That’s been my whole point for such a long time. MY body is special and meant only for display to my wonderful husband! It’s one of my MANY soap boxes – LOL

    As for books: The Botkin Ladies are good, DH is reading Voddie B’s book: What He should be If He wants to marry my Daughter ( he loves it & I can’t wait )and he has other titles as well try Biblical Womanhood on youtube, Vision Forum has tons of stuff by many authors, and of course our guidebook – Scripture Proverbs 31 and Song of Solomon. BTW I can credit Kelly, herself, for many of those wonderful finds. 😉 Thanks bunches Kelly – lots and lots of “meat” to chew on.

    PRAISE GOD! for His wonderful guidance and willingness to give us wisdom when we seek HIM – See James.

    In God’s love ladies.

  7. Stephanie Todd says:

    This is so perfectly timed in my life not only because I now have a daugther to raise, but also because I struggle in this area myself. I am with Tawny, I would love additional resource suggestions.

    Thanks for the post!
    Stephanie

  8. Donna Hebert says:

    Great post Kelly! I have 3 beautiful daughters and this is truly something we have been working on. Another thing folks don’t think of is, since we live in a day and age of internet and FB and blogs, how is our “tone” in our writing? I actually cringe sometimes because the “tone” of the article makes me feel as if I am being yelled at. Ways to know you are “yelling” in what you type are to look at how many exclamation points you place in an entire article. Like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or Like this?!?!?!?!?!?!…lol..okay I am sure you get the picture here. 🙂 Smilies are nice!

  9. Rajeev Kumar says:

    Hey Kelly,

    I very recently became a Christian after growing up Hindu and spending several years being very anti-Christian and anti-religion in general. Christ has changed my life in ways that I cannot describe and I hope to live a life and marriage that glorifies him and him alone.

    But I have always been a hardcore feminist and environmentalist. And I have always been bombarded with outspoken Christians who bash these ideas and create a conflict between the two. I love this post because I hope to marry a girl who is beautiful, graceful, intelligent, and devoutly Christian. And I want her to wish for at least six children. But I do not want her to be a “well-behaved” and obedient woman. I want her to be unique, boisterous, and a bit immodest. I want her to be a Christian feminist who submits to the Lord but not to me. She should want to bear children because she loves them, loves me, and loves the lord, but not because I command her to.

    It is comforting to know that there is a scriptural basis for this.

    I also love your Youtube video on green quiverfull families, and I feel the exact same way. I wrote some comments and a few others did as well so please check it out. It is so inspiring and I hope to emulate it with my future wife and family.

    By the way, I know that giving birth often leads to weight gain. If my future wife gained 100 pounds after giving birth to several of my babies, it would make her no less sexy and I would keep myself in perfect mental and physical shape for her. But it would be a real treat if she could keep your figure after eight children! How on earth do you do it?!

  10. JR says:

    Hello there, I’ve just begun reading your website, and I wanted to bring forth a few points I have questions about. I’m not questioning the Biblical aspect of your post, but rather your writing of the Victorian era. First, the Victorian era is not the time period in which Jane Austen lived in or chronicled – that would be the Georgian era. The Victorian era was the later part of the nineteenth century, while the Georgian was the later eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. Secondly, I was curious if you were aware that it was the Victorian era when the women’s suffrage movement began, and women began to demand equal rights. The concept of the quiet, gentle woman really started to crumble, as women rejected the “seen but not heard” idea of earlier times. Anyway, I hope that clarifies things. God Bless!

  11. Heather says:

    I want more ‘gentle and quiet’ in my OWN heart and life! I can’t cultivate that in my daughter if I don’t live it out as an example for her. I do really great until my emotions swell and I am frustrated, angry, hurt or impatient… then watch out!! Thank you for this post, I once again needed the reminder.

  12. Kelly L says:

    Wow! what a great post. This puts a word to what I have been trying to cultivate…now I have more of a kick in the pants to do so. Thanks!

  13. Lana says:

    “First, the Victorian era is not the time period in which Jane Austen lived in or chronicled – that would be the Georgian era. The Victorian era was the later part of the nineteenth century, while the Georgian was the later eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. Secondly, I was curious if you were aware that it was the Victorian era when the women’s suffrage movement began, and women began to demand equal rights. The concept of the quiet, gentle woman really started to crumble, as women rejected the “seen but not heard” idea of earlier times.”

    I’m sorry, but reading this made me fall out of my chair laughing! Why? Because I, like Kelly, have taught English, and I am sure she knows the difference between the Victorian and Georgian eras. If you will reread the first paragraph of the post, you will see that Kelly never said that Jane Austen was from the Victorian Era!

    And your second point is actually why the Victorian era is often looked at longingly. It was the last era before feminism eroded the idea of being ladylike. It was the end of women being considered by society as ladies. Now society has a lot of other names for women, most of which are derogatory. Women who try to behave as ladies are often talked about in negative ways. It breaks my heart to see young women dress and behave in ways that are so degrading. I can’t watch the nightly news without exposing my girls to commercials with barely dressed women.

  14. Word Warrior says:

    Rajeev,

    There are a few discrepancies in your comment:

    “But I do not want her to be a “well-behaved” and obedient woman. I want her to be unique, boisterous, and a bit immodest. I want her to be a Christian feminist who submits to the Lord but not to me.”

    You have to make up your mind. If you are a Christian and you want your wife to be, it comes with an “all or none” clause. “Love the Lord with ALL your heart” and “If you love me, you will obey Me”.

    You can’t read from Scripture “let your apparel be modest” and have a heart that *desires* for your wife to be immodest.

    It is impossible for your wife to “submit to the Lord” if she doesn’t submit to you…for it is His express command.

    To the redeemed heart He gives eyes to see and a deep desire to obey Him. Praying that you will seek His face.

  15. Word Warrior says:

    Lana/JR,

    Thanks a bunch! I picked the Victorian era because that seems to be the icon for demure, lady-like women, regardless of what was going on in the times. We also love the Austen era–minus the cleavage 😉

  16. Jennifer says:

    Lana, there’s no need for your mocking tone. Many would misunderstand the comment about Austen-lovers liking Victorian times and the point about feminism in the latter era is an especially valid point. No wonder: with the endless corsets and lace, not to mention sexual fear, it was probably the last straw.

  17. JR says:

    Lana/Kelly,

    Oh, I wasn’t intending to dismiss the point made about biblical modesty or the importance of raising modest daughters. My interpretation of “The Victorian era has certainly been improperly elevated by us Jane Austen-lovin’ gals” was that Kelly was relating Jane Austen to the Victorian era. In my earlier comment, I was simply attempting to clarify that Jane Austen’s writings are relevant to a time before the Victorian era. I also wanted to note the emergence of modern women’s right in the late nineteenth century. I have to disagree that the Victorian era was the “last era before feminism eroded the idea of being ladylike.” Prostitution was rampant in Victorian England: hardly ladylike! Regardless, I do agree that immodesty is degrading, and the biblical message explored in the original post certainly stands true. Peace be with you.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Rajeev, what’s wrong with her being obedient to GOD and well-behaved? Immodesty is NOT part of being Christian or egalitarian; your comment gives you no credit whatsoever.

  19. Lucy says:

    Well, if you’re after daughters that look/dress like Jackie Kennedy, I would suggest a lot of money might in order.

    There is a good essay about the pitfalls of feminism by Taylor Caldwell…http://www.henrymakow.com/feminism_spoiled_natures_great.html

  20. yongxiu says:

    Women were more cherished in the past?

    Are you talking about the hundreds of thousands of Chinese girls, whose feet were broken and bound as children, so they were virtually helpless?

    Or the women in the US who worked in the mills in the 19th century, under horrendous conditions that often took their lives? Girls who had to ask for permission to use the bathroom in their workplace, and who worked 17 hours a day?

    Or the slave women who were exploited physically and sexually by their owners?

    Or the women who were beaten and abused in their own homes, and who had no recourse to protect themselves legally or financially?

    I could go on and on.

    Frankly, it is better and safer to have legal equality than it is to be “cherished” in the way women were “cherished” in the past.

    And Jackie Onassis? Her husband cheated on her throughout their marriage. She was hardly “cherished.”

    As for the women of Jane Austen’s period–95% scrubbed chamber pots or worked in the fields. Only a very few lived the life of luxury (servants, father not working) that Austen’s characters did. If you lived back then, most likely you’d be a servant girl, living away from home, scrubbing potatoes in a basement kitchen, fending off the advances of the men in the home, with teeth rotting in your mouth from nonexistent dental care. Enjoy!

  21. Tawny says:

    Kelly,
    Thank You so much for the links!

  22. yongxiu says:

    In Jackie O’s senior yearbook, under Ambition, she wrote “Not to be a housewife.”

  23. Lana says:

    It was not my intention to come across as mocking.

  24. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for clarifying then.

  25. Rajeev Kumar says:

    Kelly,

    Fair enough, I did not totally understand before. I am still influenced by my secular way of thinking. It was not my intention to make a comment that would upset you. I always had a hard time stomaching the image of stereotypical quiet Conservative Christian wife. And I previously had the impression that strict Christian women didn’t laugh, have fun, or think for themselves. It almost seemed that they isolated themselves from non-Christians, except to proseltyze.

    We do not need to go back completely to a 19th century way of thinking. I like the lack of extreme formality that allows families to be more intimate than they were before. Churches do not preach such a fire and brimstone message anymore. And society is more open about problems ranging from alcoholism to domestic violence to mental illness. These are good things that we should not lose.

    As far as immodesty goes, it is less about dress and more about personality. When I hear modesty, I get the image of Muslim women in burkhas who are like ghosts, not talking to anybody, not having a face that people can see. I also get the image of a wife cooking for and serving guests without actually sitting down, talking to them, voicing their opinions, or anything like that. There is nothing wrong with not wearing revealing clothing. But I also like a unique and bubbly personality. I believe in separate gender roles, yet I believe that the Lord made us all equal.

  26. Word Warrior says:

    yonxiu,

    First, (and I knew it would be fun for those always looking for me to do/say something wrong) I didn’t post a picture of Jacquenline Kennedy to elevate her nor did I say, “In posting a picture of JK, we should all try to emulate her life as she is the perfect role model). I posted it because she looks graceful and this post is primarily about that.

    Secondly, though you claim the hardship and harshness of all women in former days, I would say honest historical accounts tell otherwise.

    Work, in and of itself, was not a hardship. And certainly, as in all societies in all times, including our own, there were women who received undue treatment. But I would dare say that was not the norm, especially among Christians.

    Women worked hard–yes. And that made them sturdy and they didn’t whine about it. We could take a lesson.

    Secondly, consider this observation by the European, Tocqueville:

    “…the women of America, who often exhibit a masculine strength of understanding and a manly energy, generally preserve great delicacy of personal appearance and always retain the manners of women although they sometimes show that they have the hearts and minds of men.

    . . .

    I never observed that the women of America consider conjugal authority as a fortunate usurpation of their rights, or that they thought themselves degraded by submitting to it. It appeared to me, on the contrary, that they attach a sort of pride to the voluntary surrender of their own will and make it their boast to bend themselves to the yoke, not to shake it off….

    “the Americans can conceive nothing more precious than a woman’s honor…”

    “although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is in some respects one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked, now that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women.”

  27. SavedbyGrace says:

    Yongxiu, as a cherished wife in the here and now I understand what you describe from past societies. However, even in those societies there were still good, Christian families who did the best that they could. History is replete with them. Even now we can do our best to FULLY OBEY scripture – that’s really all we can do – the rest is up to our LORD.

    I’ve often thought how difficult it was for the poor & impoverished but I think our Lord Jesus Christ said it well with “The poor you will always have with you”. Just because you are poor and mistreated and fighting off the unwanted advances of strange men (and women for that matter) doesn’t mean you have to live in the pit. Attitude means a lot and if your attitude is focused upon HIM and you are serving HIM – even under dire circumstances – then it is more bearable. (Read The Hiding Place by Corrie TenBoom.) Espicially if you understand scripture:

    Matthew 5:10
    Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Add: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Yes, girls & boys have been mistreated since the fall of man, in the garden, but our LORD sees and He will judge one day. God is a good and gracious God and He is a righeous judge – we must lean on that when we see the horrors of this world.

    Finally, when it comes to innocents being mistreated I think we would all do well to remember this verse:
    Matthew 18:6
    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    This post is meant to encourage us – NOW – not to necessarily be a discourse on the past. NOW we have an opportunity to bring up girls to be young ladies, meek and quiet in their spirit. NOW we have an opportunity to teach these girls how to be godly wives and daughters. There is so much to do and so little time ( 18 years is not very long). We need to moving NOW to impart this knowledge to our girls. We need to take Titus 2 to heart and teach it as Deut. 6 tells us which is virtually all day long each and every day.

    Actually, I do believe churches should be preaching hellfire and brimstone. Jesus tells us to be afraid of the one who can condemn us to the pit of hell not the world. Those who are unsaved should be afraid, very afraid because once it’s over there are no more chances. We should all, as Christians, be yelling the Gospel at the top of our lungs in order to reach the unsaved!

  28. Word Warrior says:

    Rajeev,

    You didn’t upset me–sorry I seemed so. I’m glad you clarified, and I can see if you have had a Hindu background how you might get a different picture of modesty.

    The good news, and one I’ve tried to make clear here, is that women CAN be all God’s wants them to be and still have a “bubbly personality”, dress modestly (and not wear a burkha). He doesn’t ask us to be something different than who He made us, but within our roles and within the wisdom of Scripture there are guidelines that free us (submission is actually a freeing concept when properly understood) and do not burden us.

    Thanks again, for your thoughts on this! I hope you find a woman who loves the Lord and demonstrates the beauty and grace He intended.

  29. SavedbyGrace says:

    Oh, Kelly, love the Tocqueville quote!

    I keep considering taking the time to read The Monstrous Regiment of Women ( title ???) by John Knox but haven’t yet. Have you?

  30. Jennifer says:

    There’s a disgusting title.

  31. yongxiu says:

    Jane Austen’s writings are quite feminist! Elizabeth Bennet announced her engagement well before she or Darcy spoke to her dad. Her father’s consent was more of a formality, obtained well after the two had decided to get married.

    And the way she portrays clergymen? Far from flattering.

  32. Word Warrior says:

    yongxiu,

    Darlin’, I’m going in right now to put a disclaimer just for you 😉

  33. Jennifer says:

    Oh yong, that was ONE clergyman. Don’t be unfair now; Austen’s father was one and she was hardly against them. Yes, her women were strong without being domineering.

  34. Beth says:

    I loved this post! As a fairly new reader I am really enjoying the challenges and encouragment here on this blog. Thank you.

    As far as books on the subject, I really enjoyed Elisabeth Elliot’s Let Me Be A Woman and Passion and Purity.

  35. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    Kelly,

    Although I unfortunately don’t have daughters of my own, this post about women being lovely, having inner beauty, and bestowing grace spoke directly to my heart. I love reading these types of posts! 🙂

    I think women (especially Christian women) need more kindly reminders such as the words you “penned” in this post regarding godly behavior and actions, since the teachings of these virtues are seriously lacking in our modern culture today.

    ~Mrs. Lady Sofia~

  36. SavedbyGrace says:

    Jennifer, yes it’s a perfectly awful title isn’t it 🙂 but (shows my horrible sense of humor) it does make me smile. Aren’t I awful??? But I do like to be informed and (shame on me ) but I do so love shock value from time to time. Aside from that John Knox was a great theologian and there is probably much to be gleaned.

  37. Charity says:

    Kelly, this is an excellent post! One of my favorites! (By the way, you are SO patient! How in the world do you deal with all the ‘read in-between the lines’ ick that comes when you post things like this? I admire you!) I’m sure you have probably read this (and your oldest daughter too) but for a few that asked about books, I would suggest Elisabeth Elliot’s ‘Let Me Be A Woman'(written to her daughter before she married). Excellent! (and ‘Mark Of A Man’ written by her for males).
    Thank you again for this post! Blessings…

  38. Word Warrior says:

    Charity,

    Thank you. I actually don’t think I’ve read that one…I should get it 😉

  39. Charity says:

    Kelly, Your oldest daughter is around the age I was the first time I read it. It completely changed my thoughts on purity (from ‘just don’t have sex’ to ‘guard your heart and save yourself completely for your future spouse’) and introduced me to the idea of courtship.

  40. Lana says:

    I would like to second Kelly’s point about honest historical accounts not reflecting the things that are so commonly taught about our history.

    I was blessed to befriend my husband’s great grandmother during the last decade of her life. She was born in 1897 and died in 2003. She had a lot of wisdom about the many changes she saw take place in her lifetime. She gave me an important piece of educational advice: If you want to know what it was really like “back then,” you should read journals from the people who actually lived it. I took her advice and have since been re-educated. Not by reading the journals of historical figures or writers, but by reading the journals of everyday people like farmers, ministers, missionaries, school teachers, soldiers, etc.

    I’m not saying that horrible and unfair treatment of women did not take place in the past, just that those things tend to get amplified. Most women and children in the late nineteenth century did not work in factories. Some did and the conditions were horrible, but most women were working at home. Some women were abused by their husbands, but most were not.

    I’m glad that I can vote, get an education, and be anything that I want to be. I’m glad we live in a time when women can get out of abusive situations. And I am so glad I don’t have to wear corsets and wool stockings in this southern heat that I live in! But I also think it’s a shame that women are no longer valued or cherished (by society)for being women.

  41. Amanda says:

    Kelly, those “Make-over” links are great! I think you should put a permanent link box on the right side of the blog so new readers will know about them.
    I’ve read a bunch of your archives but I guess I didn’t make it that far back.

  42. SavedbyGrace says:

    Well said Lana! No one denies that it happened – it still does (the mistreatment of women & children I mean). But it wasn’t the norm then or now.

    Isn’t it also interesting how quickly we forget historical happenings like the Birkenhead and the Titanic. If it weren’t for Christianity the call for “Women and Children first” wouldn’t have been heard! Wives & children were cherished. I guess it’s the same thing today, all those “squeaky wheels” get the attention and those quietly living wonderful, peaceful, god-fearing lives just don’t make the news. Or I guess you could “one bad apple spoils the whole barrel”.

    I also must agree – woolen stockings and Tennessee humidity just wouldn’t be any fun at all 😉

  43. yongxiu says:

    Great disclaimer; it clarifies what you meant.

    People Magazine and other rags use Jackie’s picture on their covers because she was pretty and famous. You sure don’t want to use her pic for that reason; not in a post about godly women. I think a better choice is a woman, however plain, who lives simply and according to the Scriptures

  44. Jennifer says:

    Hi Grace. Actually I meant the book itself was disgusting, not the title. I think he was a horrific theologian. Oh well.

  45. Dana says:

    I’m not sure why you conclude that the primary historical accounts which agree with your point of view are the “more honest” ones. All texts have an agenda that needs to be taken into account; the Victorians were not exempt from promoting their own ideologies through their descriptive choices.

  46. SavedbyGrace says:

    Jennifer have you read the book or anything else by Knox?
    Why do you think he was “horrific”? I’m just curious – not trying to start an argument – I’d like to know opinions other than mine.

  47. janine says:

    I find that most girls don’t need much help to be “other-oriented.” It comes naturally for most.

    Little boys, however, are the ones who need to be taught this. They tend to be self-centered and they are rarely oriented towards others feelings. They need to be taught how to help others.

  48. janine says:

    Feminism started in the early part of the Victorian era.

  49. Rajeev Kumar says:

    Thank you Kelly,

    God Bless! I don’t think that it was you who was upset. I think that it was Jennifer that I seemed to upset. This post is truly wonderful. So is your video about eco-friendly large families. Big families can avoid luxuries like big diamonds, large quantities of meat, and extravagant homes made of mahogany, teak, and other exotic rainforest hardwoods. And they also tend to waste less food, grow vegetables and keep a cow, use cloth diapers, and give the kids hand-me-downs. It would be more ecofriendly. Our lives really would be better if we listened to the Lord.

    Now I understand what the Bible means when it says that women should not spend so much time outside the home. It does *not* mean that she must be isolated from society and stay inside the house (in Islam it does). Rather it means that women should not allow a time-consuming career or personal leisurely diversions to interfere with her duties of bearing and raising children. She can take them for fun activities, and does not need her husband’s escort (like in Islam) to run errands.

    And not being loud and boisterous does not mean that she cannot have a spunky personality. She does not have to keep her gaze down or take orders from you. Its okay to laugh, to roast each other, have pillow fights, and be a fun loving couple. She doesn’t have to be completely docile in every way. I did not fully understand but it all makes sense.

  50. Word Warrior says:

    Janine,

    You may want to clarify your identity for other readers so we don’t get confused in the thread, although your avatar gives it away. Just not sure why you posted with two different names.

  51. Amy says:

    I enjoyed and was challenged by this post Kelly. I agree that you are a most patient lady, and grace is certainly poured out here as you do your Titus 2 part. Thank you for being obedient to the Titus 2 command….I for one NEED ladies like you speaking into my life.

    And I have been so blessed to read the comment exchange between you and Rajeev. What a sweet teachable spirit. Truly, it has brightened my day. I am certain that as he so diligently and willingly seeks God’s truth and His best, he will be a wonderful husband and father one day.

    Lord Jesus, may you bless Rajeev with a beautiful, godly, bubbly helpmeet to bless him and help him carry out the wonderful work you have for his life. Thank you Lord for this little gift you’ve given me today!! Amen.

    Hugs to you Kelly,
    Amy

  52. Jennifer says:

    No problem Grace, thanks for asking. I have read selections of Knox’s book “Monstrous” and he shows absolute revulsion towards any woman who doesn’t have a man ruling her, claiming that it’s an abomination of nature. The book was written during Bloody Mary’s reign, so it’s understandable that he wasn’t happy with THAT monstrous woman, but the writing showed hatred for any woman in her position as monarch (and never mind all the monstrous male rulers before her, who he wrote no such diatribes against). “Patriarchal” is not the word I’d use to describe him; his words towards anything resembling a woman in authority, or the hatred that seemed to inspire him to believe a woman was monstrous if not ruled by man, were so acidic that when I originally came across his book “Monstrous Regiment”, I literally thought it was a farce or a joke. Add to this his brutal views in Calvinism and I’m left with no reason to approve him at all.

  53. SavedbyGrace says:

    Other oriented???? Today’s young women???? Where are they? Most of the young women (many of the older ones too come to think of it) I know are some of-the-most-self-interested-self-motivated nuts that I know.

    Usually the men I know are ready to assist if given the opportunity. I also know a lot of couples in which the man bends over backwards to meet his selfish wife’s outrageous demands. These men receive very little affirmation of how wonderful they are from said wife or society. Yet, they keep on simply because they love the Lord and their wife so much.

    Nope, I just don’t see it. Maybe 30 years ago but not today, not by a long shot!

  54. Kelly L says:

    Disclaimer: Before making women who have had children (ahem!) laugh at your disclaimers, there should be a warning that says use the ladies room first. Thank You! LOL

  55. Lori says:

    “Funny how this springs from a generation of women demanding to be valued compared to a time when we were too valuable for such display.”

    So true. It’s also sad that nothing in our culture has clued us in to the biblical truth that demanding respect is no way to get real respect, or to become valued or honored (see Luke 14:11: “He who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”).

  56. Word Warrior says:

    Amanda,

    “those “Make-over” links are great! I think you should put a permanent link box on the right side of the blog so new readers will know about them.”

    Great idea! I had a link to them up once and for some reason, trying to de-clutter, took it down. I’ll work on that.

  57. Word Warrior says:

    Amy,

    You are so very sweet.

  58. yongxiu says:

    Just so you know, Jane Austen did not make movies. The movie version of Pride and Prejudice is a hollywoodized version of the book. Not much like real life.

    I wouldn’t want to live in Austen’s time. Too many people had horrendous teeth–and the breath to prove it. Even the very few who were wealthy like Darcy had rotten teeth–because good dental care didn’t exist yet.

    The young ladies in the movie version had the advantage of 21st century dental care when they portrayed 19th century women. Not exactly a slice of life!

  59. Rajeev Kumar says:

    Thank you so much Amy, your words are so wonderfully kind. I will remember them.

    One thing that I feel is an important opportunity that comes with a natural-sized family is missionary activity. If I marry a girl and we have eight children, all of whom are raised to know the glory of Christ, then that is four times the average American family’s number of children to spread the light of the Lord! I hope to raise many future children to share the Gospel with Muslims.

    As far as raising daughters, I say look no further than Wheaton College. I have been blessed to live in the same town and I became a Christian with my friends who go there. They have women of true character and class. All of them love the Lord and I haven’t met a single woman there who wants less than four kids. That is unless she wants to do something really important such as spending an entire life sharing the Gospel in dangerous places.

  60. Lana says:

    Yongxiu,
    Are your comments meant to be taken in humor or are you really educating us on the difference in a movie and a book? Please clarify.

  61. Jennifer says:

    Well Yong, you didn’t expect a bunch of actors with bad teeth to be in the film, did you?

    Anyway, the A&E P&P kicks the Hollywood version’s butt.

  62. yongxiu says:

    Kelly/Word Warrior,

    “Yongxiu” is like of like “Word Warrior”. Janine is like “Kelly.”

    Sorry to confuse!

  63. Word Warrior says:

    Rajeev,
    “One thing that I feel is an important opportunity that comes with a natural-sized family is missionary activity. If I marry a girl and we have eight children, all of whom are raised to know the glory of Christ, then that is four times the average American family’s number of children to spread the light of the Lord! I hope to raise many future children to share the Gospel with Muslims.”

    Now you’re speaking my language 😉 Such a simple concept, yet most of us miss it. There’s a reason God was constantly telling his people–EVEN in the direst of circumstances–“get married, have babies, fill the land”. “Why did I make them one? Because I desire godly offspring.”

    The Great Commission makes so much more sense when there are more Christians to follow it!

  64. Sarah F says:

    Rajeev Kumar is so obviously a troll.

  65. Lori says:

    Kelly – “The Great Commission makes so much more sense when there are more Christians to follow it!”

    Ha! So simple it made me laugh, so neglected it made me sad.

  66. Margaret says:

    Speaking of history–much is made of women being miserable and oppressed. The fact is *nobody* but the upper classes had any sort of power or luxury of life. Men included. And I would say those lives of luxury tended to be perversions of Biblical concepts of rulership as well as gender roles.

    I would not want to be a woman 200 or 500 years ago. Or in Iran right now. I would not want my sons to be growing young men in those time periods or in Iran either. As male and female, we have different vulnerabilities, but outside of the ruling classes, male and female suffer together.

  67. Lori says:

    Janine – ” find that most girls don’t need much help to be “other-oriented.” It comes naturally for most.

    Little boys, however, are the ones who need to be taught this. They tend to be self-centered and they are rarely oriented towards others feelings. They need to be taught how to help others.”

    Dang! Little bit sexist! Not so mention totally subjective.

  68. Lori says:

    that was a bit redundant – if it weren’t subjective it wouldn’t be sexist, and sexist it was.

  69. Elizabeth says:

    I haven’t commented here in a while but found this thread fascinating and finally felt compelled to weigh in.

    1) I found the disclaimer regarding Jackie Kennedy puzzling as a response to Yongxiu. Youngxiu commented that Jackie Kennedy wasn’t exactly “cherished” since her husband brazenly cheated on her multiple times during their marriage. Kelly, as direct response to that comment, you put up a disclaimer saying that Jackie is not a role model to be emulated. It just seemed like a weird response; what does her husband’s failure to cherish her have to do with her not being a good role model??? I understand that she may not be a good role model for other reasons, but you presented the disclaimer as a direct response to Yongxiu’s comment. That struck me as extremely strange.

    2) I am very skeptical of the idea of being “cherished.” That sounds like code for, “I’ll be really nice to you as long as you accept your subordinate status.” Look, dogs are cherished in our culture. Most adult women today want something more than being cherished.

    3) History is relevant here. An assertion was made in the post that women were more cherished in the past back when they conducted themselves in a more “feminine” or delicate manner. So it is relevant to point out that the vast majority of women in history were treated quite poorly. Even the Austen heroines (who surely do represent at least a segment of their society) were treated horribly — and they were treated horribly FOR being women. The Dashwoods in the Sense and Sensibility were booted out of their family home upon their father’s death, and essentially impoverished, because the family inheritance was structured to favor a distant male relative. Similarly, in P & P, Elizabeth risked impoverishing her entire family when she turned down the pompous clergyman because he, a distant male cousin, was to inherit the family home upon the father’s death. She was under enormous pressure to marry a truly obnoxious character in order to save her sister and mother from ruin. If that is being “cherished,” I think I will take working in my office and making my own income any day of the week.

  70. Elizabeth says:

    I agree that it is sexist to generalize about which sex is more selfish. However, we are socialized differently. Women, even in liberal circles, tend to be raised to worry constantly about how their actions will impact others. Also women’s actions tend to be construed as horribly selfish if we aren’t constantly serving others. My goodness, even a basic thing like wanting an income is considered an awful, selfish desire in some circles when a woman does it!

    So I do think there is a phenomenon where men often feel more entitled than women do to do things for themselves. It is a response to socialization from earliest childhood.

    Personally, I would like to retire the whole concept of “selfishness.” It is too often used as a club to bash women. I think all of us — men and women — OUGHT to take care of ourselves, nurture ourselves, treat ourselves well, and remember that we have needs that deserve to be met. To tell women otherwise is to set them up for victimhood.

  71. Lori says:

    Elizabeth, you’re using “need,” “desire,” and “deserving” interchangelbly, and that tends to have toxic results since all humans are depraved and equally prone to selfishness. All humans must be taught what selflessness looks like. All humans are born with the desire “to be like God.” It’s a trait we inherited from our first parents.

  72. Jane says:

    Thank you, Lori.

    I know for myself that as soon as I start thinking I “deserve” something (yes, even my needs), it leads to some selfish, sinful actions.

    Lord, let me never forget my sinfulness, and that you extended your grace and mercy so that I don’t get what I truly “deserve”.

  73. Word Warrior says:

    Elizabeth,

    The part of yongxiu’s comment about Jackie that I responded to was:

    “In Jackie O’s senior yearbook, under Ambition, she wrote “Not to be a housewife.””

    I was so “dizzied” and frustrated by the all the rabbit trails and off-topic comments that quite honestly, I was reading quickly and responding quickly to get done with it. Her divorce had nothing to do with my response.

    I’m sorry you’re “skeptical of the idea of being cherished”. That sounds like a pretty typical feminist remark, so I’ll leave it at that. I quite love being cherished by my husband and by the fact that he cherishes me EVEN when I don’t deserve it. He’s a bigger man than I am 😉

    The Victorian/Jane Austen thing–I’m just tired of discussing it. I’m not basing my beliefs on a movie or an author’s portrayal of an era, nor did my post have anything to do with that.

    Biblical principles for living–that’s where we must turn. Christ liberated women and where He reigns, women are cherished. I do believe it is wise, according to Scripture, that women are taken care of financially. By a father, by a husband, by a family, by a church, etc. There are all kinds of repercussions from a society that has largely rejected that concept.

    No, it’s not cut and dry. But almost always, if we unwind the ball of string, start with biblical precepts, we don’t get all tangled up in a chain reaction of events that mess up everything.

    This topic is difficult precisely because you can’t address one subject without addressing another. It wasn’t meant to go down this rabbit trail. It was meant to say, and maybe instead of the long post, I should have just said:

    WOMEN USED TO BE MORE LOVELY AND GRACEFUL THAN THEY ARE NOW AND WE NEED TO REVISIT THAT PART OF OUR PRIVILEGE OF BEING A WOMAN.

  74. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for your response, Kelly. Your comment on Jackie makes a lot more sense to me now. (And I know you are feeling nit-picked, and I know this doesn’t matter to your main point but Jackie O was widowed twice, not divorced.)

    And yes, you read my comment about not wanting to be cherished in exactly the proper light, i.e. as a feminist statement. That said, I can’t help but feel that women are highly valued in our secular society. I am a woman, and I guess I don’t feel any lack of being valued and respected and loved.

    Lori,

    I agree that I used “need,” “desire,” and “deserving” interchangeably. I suppose technically all anyone “needs” is a roof over my head, enough to eat, clothes, and perhaps medical care. But I believe we have emotional “needs” as well, needs that will inevitably express themselves in unhealthy ways if they aren’t me. I think we have emotional needs that must be met if we are to stay psychologically healthy — a need to express ourselves, a need to pursue activities that give us joy, a need to have some say over our own desitines and how we live. I worry that the submissive wife model penalizes any feelings or expressions of feelings other than joyful submission. It seems that any lack of contentment in a submissive role is deemed “selfishness” or “sin.”

    I believe that a balance can be struck between serving our families and others, and serving ourselves in ways that keep us healthy and happy. Unfortunately, women are guilted and scolded endlessly when they engage in the latter.

  75. Jennifer says:

    I don’t think that comment was sexist at all, Lori; it was an observation, one that can be agreed or disagreed with.

  76. Word Warrior says:

    Elizabeth,

    Although we’ll never come to complete agreement simply because we have two different world views, I do think (and I can be equally guilty of this) that you’ve painted a rather narrow perception of “the submissive wife”, one I hope this blog and others enlarge.

    You said,

    “I think we have emotional needs that must be met if we are to stay psychologically healthy — a need to express ourselves, a need to pursue activities that give us joy, a need to have some say over our own desitines and how we live. I worry that the submissive wife model penalizes any feelings or expressions of feelings other than joyful submission. It seems that any lack of contentment in a submissive role is deemed “selfishness” or “sin.” ”

    I would submit that this is not the case in a truly biblical, healthy marriage.

    I have freedom to express my feelings–being submissive has nothing to do with repressing feelings or being bottled up.

    And as for “expressing one’s self”…the opposite has proven true in my life, and in the lives of many around me.

    As a working woman, I was strapped to a tight schedule–my boss fully expected me to be there when he said–and I was expected to be “joyfully submissive”. If I felt like exploring my creative outlets on his time, I would be fired (where’s the freedom in THAT?)

    When I got home, I still had a full time job to do. But now, I was exhausted–physically and mentally–and there was little time to pursue my own interests.

    As a mother (I just talked about this in an interview with “His Heartbeat for Women”), my family flourishes precisely because the freedom of home gives me outlets for all the expressions, gifts, abilities and needs that I have.

    I don’t want to paint a rose-colored picture–I still believe motherhood is super hard work, and often we feel we’re in the trenches akin to a suffering missionary. And that’s OK.

    Because under it all, we find balance in Scripture. When I’m where I’m supposed to be, that freedom, expression, joy and flourishing is found. But I also find comfort that even in hard times, or if I don’t have as loving a husband as I’d like, or when I’m going through a difficult season, that ultimately, this is not about ME. This is about living for the glory of God.

    And if that means there are times when I don’t feel like “my needs are being met”, so be it, as long as I’m obeying the Lord.

    He takes care of us–our job is to obey.

  77. Jennifer says:

    It’s truly amazing to me how much major nitpicking came up on this thread. Now being cherished is degrading? *smacks forehead*

  78. Lori says:

    Jennifer – 🙂

  79. Lori says:

    Kelly – well said!

  80. Maggie says:

    With regards to your assertion that “women were cherished,” I have to respectfully disagree. One need only look at Austen’s own life to see that that was not necessarily true. When Austen’s father, a poor clergyman died, the widowed Mrs. Austen and single daughters Jane and Cassandra bounced from relative to relative; their brother Edmund, who had been adopted by distant cousins, was quite wealthy and could have put them up comfortably, but did not until almost 4 years after Rev. Austen’s death. That, of course, is just one example of Georgian (also known as Regency) women who were not cherished, but they cannot be the only ones.

    And as far as being cherished, I believe that that can be defined as different things to different people. For example, I am a single woman who, after graduating college with high honors, is getting ready to move to another city to pursue a higher degree, all with my father’s blessing and encouragement. Why? Because my God-given talents lie in academia and I want to be a light in a dark place. I am well-formed spiritually and neither I nor my parents are worried about my losing my faith or my respectability living away from them. This trust and encouragement speaks high volumes about how much my father cherishes me; he WANTS me to go into the world and do what I’m good at because those are the talents that God has blessed me with. To stifle those and tell me I was not allowed to do what I am able would not, I think, be a mark of cherishing at all.

  81. Elizabeth says:

    I dunno, Kelly. I do understand that submission may work differently in different families, and that not every family matches the grim portrait I have implied. I am very glad to hear that you have outlets for your needs in the home.

    But you are right that we can’t possibly agree. It seems that no matter what perks there may be, I can’t get over the lifelong submission of one adult to another adult.

    Jennifer, I suppose it depends on what you mean by being “cherished.” My understanding of the term is to treat with affection, and perhaps to protect with affection. There is nothing wrong with affection, but if that’s all you are getting, then it is hard to distinguish it from being treated like a pet. What is degrading is not having equal authority with one’s partner.

  82. Ashley says:

    “And Jackie Onassis? Her husband cheated on her throughout their marriage. She was hardly “cherished.””

    And that will happen. People will cheat. But it is your response to it that matters. Jackie Onassis came through it will grace and loveliness- still looking beautiful. That is what it is all about.

  83. Word Warrior says:

    Elizabeth,

    “What is degrading is not having equal authority with one’s partner.”

    Yeah, Eve was a bit put out, too, with the whole authority thing. And we can see where it got her, along with the entire human race. (She revealed 2 perpetual human sins: Desiring to be like God (humanism) and questioning God’s authority and instruction.)

    The thing is, are we viewing our lives through the grid of what sounds right to us, or what God says is right? (“My ways are not your ways, says the Lord.”)

    That’s where the freedom comes. I don’t have to measure whether I think submission is a good idea, humanistically speaking. If I did, I would be fighting it all the time (such as you are).

    I know God values me above all His other creation. I trust that what He has put in order is good–best, in fact.

    Again, with the boss analogy, an employer/employee scenario would seem far more “degrading” if we were measuring value in terms of strict submission. Yet I don’t hear much clamoring about feeling sub-human in the work force because one is an employee.

    Within marriage, (a far different picture than employer/employee) it’s not just “Woman, submit”. It’s, like you said, both partners giving. Her willingly placing herself into her husband’s loving care, and his giving his life for hers.

    It works because it was God’s idea.

  84. Heather says:

    Love the Philippians quote 🙂 Combined with your statement:

    Do we handle ourselves with grace and loveliness?

    Does a good job of reminding us of the need for Christian ladies to be diligent in our pursuit of Christlike reflection.

  85. Kelly says:

    Kelly, another Warrior in Christ,

    I enjoyed reading this post. As I glanced through the comments from others, I was quite surprised to find so much “reading between the lines”. I just simply want to respond to your question, “how can we cultivate a “spirit of loveliness” in our daughters?” I have three daughters, each so unique in their personalities. In trying to teach them to have a spirit of loveliness, their father and I take them back to the Word of God any time there is an issue, and also when we want to praise them. The truth sets us free! They are growing and maturing in the Lord, modest, others-oriented, and such beautiful blessings. I enjoyed your article. Thank you for sharing what was on your heart.

    Blessings to you,
    Kelly

  86. Elizabeth says:

    Well, I will cop to having a soft spot for Eve, and we may even name our daughter after her.

    It is tough for me to see paid employment as degrading.

    Your employer’s authority is limited to the scope of employment and doesn’t pervade other parts of your life.

    Your employer’s authority is temporary, not life-long. In fact, you can leave any time.

    You are not sleeping with your employer. (I am not trying to be rude, but I am bothered by the idea of accepting a sexual partner as an authority.)

    Your degree of subordination or authority depends on your training, education, experience and competence, not on whether you happen to be a man or a woman.

    It is understood in a business context that you have the right to look out for your self-interests and to promote your accomplishments.

    If you have leverage, you can negotiate and possibly re-negotiate the terms of your employment.

    Also, every single person in a leadership position in our society has undergone some sort of paid employment.

  87. “Also, every single person in a leadership position in our society has undergone some sort of paid employment.”….except for mothers who have not worked outside the home, long regarded as holding the largest influence in society.

  88. Charity says:

    Oh, cottage child! You are *SO* right!

  89. I posted before I finished my thought, Hi, Elizabeth!

    I could contest virtually every statement you made in your last comment, from a Biblical perspective, but the last I think is the most profoundly mistaken….if we evaluate worth of work and whether or not a person has substantial, meaningful influence by virtue of working outside his or her sphere of authority (in this case, a Mother in her home) we have pretty much put the at home mother out with the trash. Suggesting that Biblical headship is anything akin to a boss/employee relationship is a complete misunderstanding of the concept. The circumstances can’t be compared with any accurate conclusion.

  90. “from a personal if not Biblical perspective” I should say – sorry, incomplete thoughts abound today!

  91. Katie Grace says:

    Kelly, I know that this is not what this post was about but I would like to weigh in on the submission discussion. I’m a former member of the “He’s NOT gonna tell me what to do” crowd! I bought into all the rhetoric about equal marriage. I knew all the “reasons” that the passages in the Bible about submission were to be ignored.

    I married a wonderful man. He has a servant’s heart and I am cherished. We started out in our marriage and everything went great, for a while.

    When we came to a decision that we could not agree on, we would argue about it. We would each try and convince each other we were right and after a lot of anger, we would usually come to a compromise. Until we came to a decision that there was NO compromise- it was either my way or his way. Someone had to win and someone had to loose. I’m sorry to say that usually I got my way. My husband would usually give in to me to keep the peace.

    After a few years, God really began working on my heart. First, some of the equal marriages that seem to be so great started falling apart. I saw that all of their problems that led to separation (about 6 marriages of friends and coworkers) could be traced back to a big decision that they were unable to agree or compromise on.

    Secondly, I began to really look at why I hated the idea of submission so much. I really started praying about this issue (something I had never done before). I read everything in the Bible about marriage. I finally realized that my unwillingness to submit had NOTHING to do with my hubby and everything to do with GOD. I was unwilling to be obedient to God.

    So I decided to try and change. I didn’t discuss this with anyone. I just changed my reactions to my husband’s leading. Well, it didn’t take long for him to notice. I let him in on my revelation concerning this issue.

    To the point- My hubby knew my views when we married and he knew this would cause conflict but he decided to do his part of sacrificially loving me and pray that God would “change my heart and open my eyes”.

    This took 9 years. That was 4 years ago. My marriage has changed in ways I never expected. There is no conflict. That doesn’t mean I have no opinion, in fact my hubby asks my opinion on almost everything. It doesn’t mean he tells me what to do.

    See, before we were always on different sides. I had my agenda and he had his – there was no unity. We were both trying to lead and the result was chaotic. Now we are on the same side. We have a precise way to deal with decisions. There is peace in my home. I’m not waiting on the next standoff and planning how I can manipulate my husband to get my way. I feel more respected now by my husband than I ever did before.

    To the woman I was before, this concept sounded crazy. The world can set up their marriages however they want to, but as Christians we are called to follow the Biblical model for marriage. Anything less is disobedience to God.

    I’m sorry this was so long. Thanks Kelly for speaking truth boldly. I’ve been reading for a few months and have just now felt compelled to share. Blessings on you and yours Ephesians 3:14-19.

  92. Jennifer says:

    Katie Grace-

    “I bought into all the rhetoric about equal marriage”

    It ain’t rhetoric. All the Christian equal marriages I know are very happy.

    “I knew all the “reasons” that the passages in the Bible about submission were to be ignored”

    Then you got in with the wrong group. It’s not about ignoring ANY part of the Bible.

    “he decided to do his part of sacrificially loving me and pray that God would “change my heart and open my eyes””

    Let me get this straight: HIS part of being sacrificial was in asking God to change YOU? Are you joking?? Do you know how many women get nailed for even daring to THINK about changing their husband? Even ones with addict husbands are told relentlessly, “It’s not about changing HIM, it’s about changing YOU”. This is very tiring, considering what some husbands are like. And now, here I see a woman saying it’s all right for the MAN to focus on changing his spouse and not himself; just not the wife. It’s all about scolding women and getting THEM to change. He prayed for you to do the work of change, not him; what a sacrificial husband. Thanks for reminding me why I hate complimentarianism. Your story is to me just another one of many identical stories saying “I do things his way and now I’m happy.” And now there’s no conflict whatsoever? Thats another tag-on to these kinds of stories, actually. Sorry, I’m not usually this blunt, but I ain’t buying it.

    Does it HAVE to be either a matter of hating being cherished or thinking you’re the only one making sacrifices? Is it all uber-patriarchal or uber-feminist? Are humans really THIS incapable of finding some normal middle? AAAUURGGHHH!!

  93. SavedbyGrace says:

    Katie Grace – you go girl!! I had the same experience with my hubby! I read your comment with “yep, yep”. You are so right – “but as Christians we are called to follow the Biblical model for marriage. Anything less is disobedience to God. ” I shudder to remember how disobedient I was to our Father before I let Him lead me into a true understanding of HIS word. Awful!

    Quite frankly it’s as clear as can be but people love thier sin more than they love God (See John 3:19). How will we ever hear “Well done good and faithful servant” if we don’t obey scripture. Arguing with it is not obeying it.

  94. Kelly L says:

    Katie Grace, I too was in the same boat, although I could not have written it into words as well as you did! Great testimony and well put!

  95. SavedbyGrace says:

    Umm, Jennier? It is a normal middle – you missed her point. Her husband loved her sacrificially. He knew they both couldn’t lead because eventually an impasse would come along and then who wins?? Who? Especially when it leads to divorce just because someone’s pouting because they didn’t get their way.

    Her husband didn’t change her, the LORD did. The Lord worked in her marriage and their home is happier now. She wasn’t maligning you or anyone else why try to rob her peace? You don’t agree – so what? How is your comment “iron sharpening iron”?

  96. janine says:

    Excellent point, Jennifer!

    It surprises me that some people think the only way to resolve marital conflict is to let the husband have his way.

    A mature marriage involves discussion–civil discussion between two adults. There should certainly be no yelling and screaming. Just discuss a disagreement, and you can generally find a solution that works for both parties.

    It is much harder than just submitting to your husband’s will. And your husband will like it better too.

    What kind of man would want to be married to a doormat who will agree with everything you say? Not the kind of manly, godly, strong man I see discussed here on these boards. Real men are not afraid of discussion and compromise. Only weak, insecure men need their women to submit in order to avoid conflict.

    Submission is the childish way to eliminate conflict! And because it goes against human nature, there is the need for constant preaching and scolding of women–in blogs and on pulpits. It does not come naturally for a woman to abandon the strength, intelligence and independence that God gave her, to act like a woman in a Muslim country.

  97. Heather says:

    Submission is the childish way to eliminate conflict!

    Hmmmmmm

    Perhaps you’re right.

    Jesus the Son submitted to the will of the Father.

    And because it goes against human nature, there is the need for constant preaching and scolding of women–in blogs and on pulpits.

    Human nature is selfish.

    It does not come naturally for a woman to abandon the strength, intelligence and independence that God gave her,

    That is why we need the Lord to guide us and strengthen us to do what He instructs.

    to act like a woman in a Muslim country.

    The Islamic view of women is a distortion of God’s truth. You can’t hold up a twisted picture of submission as proof we should ignore what the Bible says about it.

  98. Heather says:

    Before anyone jumps on me for appearing to say that women are to “abandon the strength, intelligence and independence that God gave her”, I want to make it clear that I was specifically addressing the connection between “human nature” and God given strength etc.

    I don’t believe the Lord expects us to abandon anything He’s given us as a gift by which to serve Him

    However, the key is service and submission to God’s design.

  99. SavedbyGrace says:

    Wow, Janine, what universe do you live in?? I’m sure my husband wouldn’t say life was anywhere near easy when I submit to him. Quite honestly it scares him to death because now he is responsible for the decisions and where he leads our family. He will give answer for it to God.

    Just because a wife submits doesn’t mean her husband lords it over her. Scripture addresses that with the conversation about Christ and the church. The church submits to Christ and Christ gives up his life for the church. Kelly has explained this several times in this thread alone.

    DH weighs in:
    Cowering behind veiled egalatarianism with platitudes of doormats does not fool the spiritually minded. There is only one way that works in this world and that is God’s way. Your pride is what will not allow to see the truth of the Bible. Shame on you. You will either submit to God’s authority or suffer a greater peril than your mind can imagine.

    Everybody in the Bible that gets even a glimpse of God’s glory involunarily hits the dirt crying they are undone. You will be no different. Apart from Christ we have NO hope.

    Calling God’s way childish reflects the fact that God say’s you know nothing. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and a mature marriage is evident when Christ is at the center of it. It doesn’t matter if the wife is smarter or better equipped to make better decisions, God’s way is the only way that works. It takes a much braver woman to trust God than it does a fool to trust themselves.

    The husband will answer for how he leads and the wife will answer for how she follows. Leadership always involves information gathering. It also always involves responsibility. If you take yourself out from underneath your husband’s authority then you and your children’s children to the 4 generation suffer.

    You will be held accoutable for it.

    Me:
    I reckon that’s enough said.
    Heather, there is a reason Jesus came as a servant and submitted to God’s will. We are to emulate Jesus 🙂

  100. Katie Grace says:

    “Let me get this straight: HIS part of being sacrificial was in asking God to change YOU? Are you joking?? Do you know how many women get nailed for even daring to THINK about changing their husband? Even ones with addict husbands are told relentlessly, “It’s not about changing HIM, it’s about changing YOU”. This is very tiring, considering what some husbands are like. And now, here I see a woman saying it’s all right for the MAN to focus on changing his spouse and not himself; just not the wife. It’s all about scolding women and getting THEM to change. He prayed for you to do the work of change, not him; what a sacrificial husband. Thanks for reminding me why I hate complimentarianism. Your story is to me just another one of many identical stories saying “I do things his way and now I’m happy.” And now there’s no conflict whatsoever? Thats another tag-on to these kinds of stories, actually. Sorry, I’m not usually this blunt, but I ain’t buying it.”

    A few years ago I could have written these words myself. See my husband didn’t try and change me. He didn’t try and manipulate me into changing. He didn’t even ask me to change. The only discussion we had about submission was before marriage. He NEVER once called me out on this.

    He believes the Bible. He believes that we should strive to do the known will of God. When I married him, I believed the Bible too (mostly). I had decided that submission was a cultural thing that was outdated. I had a right as a woman to control my own life. If God wanted me to be submissive he should have put me in another time and place.

    The Bible tells us to pray for each other. That’s what he did. I would get angry, blunt, and very bent out of shape when we would disagree. He didn’t. He would not yell or insult me in any way. He stated his position and his reasoning behind it in a calm manner. I did what I wanted to do.

    His “being sacrifical” was in the way he treated me. Unconditional love- no matter how I treated him, disrespected him, or manipulated him.

    I’m really sorry that this upsets you so much. I don’t know anything about your marriage or what you believe a Christian marriage should look like. I too know of some equal Christian marriages that are doing just fine. I’ve never heard anyone tell the wife of an addict that she needed to change. That is unbiblical.

    I had a good marriage. We would go long spans of time without any fighting. But now I have a fantabulous marriage. His “part” was refering to what the Bible mandates as his role in marriage. He knew that he could not change me. He knew that only God could change me and that all he could do was uphold what he was suppose to do and pray. Is this not what we are asked to do as Christians? 1 John 5 tells us to pray for the brother who has committed sin.

  101. Heather says:

    Heather, there is a reason Jesus came as a servant and submitted to God’s will. We are to emulate Jesus 🙂

    Exactly~! 😉

  102. Heather says:

    It is also fascinating to me that Jesus’ complete submission was directly related to conflict resolution.
    God even made the FIRST move toward reconciliation of humanity to Himself when He wasn’t in any way to blame for the breach of fellowship!

    H

  103. Katie Grace says:

    “A mature marriage involves discussion–civil discussion between two adults.”

    Funny – I totally agree with this. We discuss every decision that has anything to do with our marriage, children, money, etc.

    “Real men are not afraid of discussion and compromise. Only weak, insecure men need their women to submit in order to avoid conflict.”

    I see the opposite: Weak and insecure men need discussion and compromise in order to not take reasponsibility as given by God. Real men seek God’s wisdom, his wife’s wisdom, and makes a decision and stands by it. This is the way it is presented in the Bible.

    I do not agree with everything that my husband says. I will tell him that I think he is being foolish. But he has the reasponsibility to make the decision and I have the reasponsibility to follow that decision.

    Oh, I should add that he doesn’t tell me what to do either. I think sometimes people have an image of unbiblical submission that warps this concept. If there is something that he would like for me to not do, he asks me and gives me his reason. That goes both ways.

  104. SavedbyGrace says:

    Katie Grace – you are describing my marriage almost to a “T”. Thank you for sharing, it is wonderful to know other ladies walking the same path. May the blessings of our Father shower down upon you.

  105. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for confirming, Katie. Thanks for your own patience; I was at that point near the end of my own patience in this issue. Submission doesn’t make me upset, but as I’ve said (and others before me) many of us see women ONLY pressured as the ones to change. The idea of a husband praying for his wife to follow him still rubs me the WRONG way. I’m sure yours is a complex marriage with some conflict like any other, but the way you told the story made it sound pristine, the way many obedient wives try to make their marriages sound, and of course there’s no such thing. I believe that submission is mutual and done out of sacrifice, not hierarchy.

  106. Kelly L says:

    Jennifer and Janine,
    As women, we are Christians first, accountable to God. Then we are wives, then mothers, if the Lord so grants. Your problem is with submission and as such, with the Bible. You can claim that it is not with the Bible, just interpretations, but verse by verse you balk at the very straightforward statements (verses). In addition, if you look at any comment by us women who agree with submission, you will not see any of the ridiculousness you have claimed. Kelly (WW) has her own business (beauty products). My husband asks me to handle all of the finances because I am better at it, I make monetary decisions (gasp) without him. I make decisions regarding our daughter’s schooling without “asking” him. I tell him what I plan to do, he either points out problems, or says it is great. If I kept silent, he’d lose it.
    The thing is, he is supposed to act like Christ to me. Which means listening, loving, being a servant, guiding. What part of those things is problematic to you? We are working together towards one goal: being Christ Followers who will draw people to the Lord. There is no winner, there is no loser. I cannot remember 1 incident in our marriage where it was his way or the highway, EVER (11 years). I would suspect most who hold the Biblical view of submission could not either. That is not how Christ works, it is not how our husbands work. Your anger over past hurts and wrongs is clouding your vision of true, Godly, submission. Only God can change that, and since He is a gentleman, only if you let Him.

  107. yongxiu says:

    Wow. You gals discuss everything with your husbands, run your own businesses, handle the finances.

    It sounds like you don’t submit all all. To anyone (except God).

    Good for you!

  108. Katie Grace says:

    Jennifer, I think you misunderstood me. My husband was praying for me to “follow God” not to “follow Him”.

  109. Kelly L says:

    yongxiu,
    Really, that is what you got out of it? That is too bad, because you missed the entire, clearly delineated, point.

  110. Jennifer says:

    *sighs and smacks forehead again* Yong, there are different ways of submission, even within complimentarian marriages. Please don’t annoy anyone further by being facetious. I agree with a lot of what you say, but we’re definitely entering into nitpicky land again. On both sides. Don’t keep this up or I’ll smack myself senseless.

  111. SavedbyGrace says:

    Oh Jennifer please don’t do that 🙂 Where would we be without your spirited defenses and insights? I love these discussions – except when that verse about endless debates pops into my head. When that happens I have to bow out (gracefully-I hope) until I can regain a sense of distance and obedience to our Saviour. Which, I think, we can all agree THE MOST important thing. 🙂

    Ya’ll have a great night – I’ve got a shirt to sew for my handsome son. Never done a collar before so I might need a sewing blog before it’s done. 🙂

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