A Wife After God’s Own Heart, Part 2

a wife after God's own heart

As man’s power over woman is restrained by love, woman’s power over man is restrained by submission. Any woman knows that she has ways of getting her own way. These must be restrained. The kind of restraint God asks of her is submission. -Elisabeth Elliot

As wives, we have influence over our husbands but too often we use that power in self-centered ways, manipulating to get what we want when we want it. But to be a woman after God’s own heart is to think first and foremost about God and His Kingdom, then about others, and lastly about ourselves. So how can we grow to have that heart within our marriages? By learning to walk in the 3 clear commands God has given us to refine our influence in our marriages: help, submit, and respect.

In part 1, we discussed what it means to be a helper to our husbands. Please go back and read it if you haven’t yet as it sets the tone for the other two commands.

So now let’s move on to submission.


Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.  1 Pet 3:1-2

Submission Defined

Submission is not just for wives. The concept to subjecting yourself to an authority is showcased in many arenas throughout the Bible: young men submit to elders, servants to masters, children to parents, and everyone is to submit to government, rulers and authorities, and to one another.

Submission simply means to operate under authority and have a disposition to yield to that authority. John Piper defines submission “not in terms of specific behaviors, but as a disposition to yield to the husband’s authority and an inclination to follow his leadership. It is a disposition rather than a set of behaviors or roles because mature femininity will express itself in so many different ways depending on the situation.” I agree with Piper that submission is much more an attitude than a set of behaviors.

Biblically, your husband holds a position and a rank over you. This is not due to his merit, his skill, or his personality. It is simply because God ordained men to be the authority in a marriage. A refusal to submit to a husband is a refusal to submit to God, since it was He who gave the command.

The mature woman acknowledges that submission is the will of God for her, and obedience to this will is no more a sign of weakness in her than it was in the Son of Man when He said, “Not my will but yours be done.” – Elisabeth Elliot

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A Wife After God’s Own Heart, Part 1

a wife after God's own heart

Remember how we discussed that women are meant to be influencers? There’s no easier place to see this than in marriage. Wives, whether you realize it or not, you have likely become a skilled influencer of your husband. It is second nature for women to use subtlety, nuance, and timing to encourage the changes we want to see in our men. But unfortunately most of us use this skill set selfishly, manipulating to get what we want. God is aware of this bent within us (in fact He designed it!) and has intended for us to use it for the Kingdom of God and the good of our husbands, even at our expense.

To help us refine our skill of influencing, God has given 3 very clear and specific commands to wives: help, submit, respect.

Not the answer we usually want, that’s for sure. These are usually the last 3 things we want to do in relation to our husbands, but without these, we will never see our husbands flourish through our influence. I love the way Elisabeth Elliot put this concept:

“As man’s power over woman is restrained by love, woman’s power over man is restrained by submission. Any woman knows that she has ways of getting her own way. These must be restrained. The kind of restraint God asks of her is submission.”

So let’s unpack these commands to help, submit, and respect, one at a time.


“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen 2:18, 22, 24)

Help Defined
Unfortunately, most people think being a helper is little more than being a secretary. But as you’ll see, this is not an accurate interpretation. This phrase, “helper fit for him” is ezer neged in the Hebrew: ezer (help) neged (at your side, next to, beside, corresponding to). This Hebrew word ezer is used of Eve twice in this chapter. Every other time but one it is used of God and how He came to the aid of His people:

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. Ps 33:20

But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay. Ps 70:5 

O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. Ps 115:9

I will lift my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Ps 121:1-2

What an incredible type of help this is! A help that shields, that is needed desperately, in times of need and affliction. This help goes beyond that of a secretary or assistant. This is help that is invaluable! Wives, this is the type of help we are to bring to our husbands!

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A Theology of Singleness

A Theology of singleness

What does the Bible have to say about the season of singleness? Whether you are single or not, I hope you will take time to make sure your point of view on this stage of life is Biblical, and not influenced by the culture around you. And remember, those of us who are married may again enter this season. We are not promised forever with our spouses, and any one of us might be widowed one day.

So let’s look at a few verses first that might not seem immediately to apply to singleness, but have direct implications.

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:27-28 

“And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common.” Acts 2:44

Unfortunately, we tend to categorize ourselves and others by our relational status. Looking around we subconsciously see those within our church walls in groups of singles, married people, married-with-kids, and so on. This type of division should not exist in the body of Christ. As the above verses state, there are no divisions for those who are clothed with Christ and all those who believe should have all things in common. This division of married and single is unnecessary and unhelpful to the unity in the body of Christ.

On top of that, the lie is often believed that those in the married category are automatically more mature than singles simply because they are married. Biblically, there is no precedent for singleness being a less-than state. There is also no Biblical pattern for married people being automatically more mature than single people. Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, not with marriage. (Psalm 111:10, Prov 9:10)

Married people have often contributed to this problem of division as much if not more than singles. If you, as a married person, don’t find that you can be friends with or relate to a single person, then you have based too much of your own identity in your marriage and not in Christ.

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A Heart for Home, Part 3

A Heart for Home

In part 1 we talked about how God has given us influence over the most important establishment in all of society, the home. And in part 2 we discussed the value of hospitality and how to be strategic in hosting others. Now, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about commitments outside the home.

This is not a black and white issue and therefore requires some discussion. We cannot and must not make rules where God has not made them. And no where in the Bible does it say that a woman cannot work and earn money. But as we discussed in earlier, God has clearly ordained for women to be the overseers of the home. With that in mind, let’s look at a few passages of the Bible for some guidance.

Proverbs 7:11-12 says of the adulterous woman, “She is loud and wayward, her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait.”

In contrast the excellent wife in Proverbs 31:27 is said to look well to the ways of her household and not eat the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 14:1 states: “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.”

If you’ll notice, none of the above verses deal with jobs. They deal with the attitude toward the home. This is not an issue of payment, but rather of priorityAll women should be mindful of these words, regardless of whether or not a paycheck is involved. There are many ways to be busy outside of the home to the detriment of the family, be it a career, a blog, a busy social life, a hobby, or even a ministry. None of these are intrinsically bad, nor improper to engage in. But, at the end of the day, what matters is how it affects the home, the most important establishment in our society.

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A Heart for Home, Part 2

A Heart for Home

In part 1, we looked at what it means to have a heart for our homes, what the Bible has to say about it, and how to use our influence there for the good of others and the glory of God. Today, I want to consider the eternal value of hospitality. 

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Heb 13:2

Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 1 Pet 4:9

Our influence at home must be primarily for those who live there, but it does not stop there. When used strategically, our homes can be one of the most effective places of ministry for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. How? Through hospitality.

Through hospitality, Rahab helped the Israelites enter to the Promise Land (Joshua 2). Through hospitality, the Shunammite woman enriched the ministry of Elisha (2 Kings 4). Through hospitality, Esther exposed the evil plot of Haman (Esther 4). And through hospitality, Jesus was often welcomed into homes to teach and minister.

Hospitality, in the greek, literally means to love strangers. This means we leverage our homes to welcome and care for others who don’t normally reside there. The focus of hospitality is the people. It is not about how clean or big your home is, how great the food is, or what the plans are. But rather, that those being welcomed feel loved, cared for, and ministered to. Being too concerned about the food and atmosphere can actually take away from caring for the people you are trying to host.

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A Heart for Home: Part 1

A Heart for Home

In the last post, I discussed our role as influencers. Now I want to consider where the Bible calls us to have primary influence: the home.

Now, if you just rolled your eyes or felt a twinge of fear or anger at the thought of women being called to the home, listen up. Do not let your culture be the primary informer of your worldview. In our age of career-rules-all, urging women to give their best efforts toward the success of the home seems insulting. “Isn’t that like asking women to play second string? To be the understudy? A benchwarmer? To let men do all the really important things, while we clean up their messes and do their laundry and raise their kids?” 

Maybe that’s how you think of managing a home… something you do when you’ve got nothing better to do. Even those who agree that women should be the primary keepers of the home often have an attitude expressing the opposite. We’d much rather be doing vocational ministry, writing a blog, or [fill-in-the-blank] than the menial, every day humdrum of home life.

But do not fall for the lie that the home is unimportant. The home is the fundamental establishment of any society. Like the rudder of a ship, the condition of the homes will steer the direction of the nation. The home is where future world leaders are molded, where brilliant minds are nurtured, where world views are established. Any investment made in the home has ripple effects that last for generations. So when we talk of a woman overseeing the home, this is not to lessen her importance, but to elevate it. God has given us influence over the most important establishment in all of society.

Let’s look at a few key passages of scripture on this topic. And instead of doing the work for you to unpack these passages, I’m asking you to take just a minute to pull out your Bible (or your Bible app) and read the passage yourself and answer the questions.

Take some time to read Titus 2:3-5 and answer the following question:

  • Of the 6 things older women are to teach younger women, how many are related to family/home life?
  • What does this communicate to us about our priorities?

Read Proverbs 31:10-31 and answer the following questions:

  • Who are the main beneficiaries of this woman’s efforts? (v. 11, 12, 15, 21, 23, 27)
  • Does this woman do things outside of her home? (v. 16, 20, 24)
  • Read verses 15, 21, 27 again. What do you notice about her intentionality toward those in her home? And what does this imply about her work outside her house?

Last but not least, let’s go back to God’s initial design of man and woman for some insight. Read Genesis 2:7-22.

  • Did God create Adam before or after He made the Garden of Eden?
  • Where was Adam created? Inside or outside the Garden?
  • Where was Eve created? Inside or outside the Garden?
  • What does this imply about men and women?

After studying the passages above, it is evident that God has created women to be uniquely influential within the context of the home. This does not mean she cannot earn an income for her family or devote her time to other ventures, as the Proverbs 31 passage portrays. But regardless of her other commitments, her primary responsibility and area of influence should be oriented toward the home, not away from it.

To drive this point home (no pun intended), consider one last verse from the book of Proverbs:

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1

A wise woman is investing in her home. She is putting effort into building it up, strengthening it, and supporting it. Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, so a woman who fears the Lord will build up her house. This is exactly what we see the wife in Proverbs 31 doing.

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Women, We Are Influencers

Women Are Influencers

In the beginning, God created woman as a helper, a supporter and an aide (Gen 2:18,22). Though our culture would scoff at such a role in society, there is truly great honor in it. The only other person given the title of helper in the Old Testament is God. The Hebrew word for help/helper is ezer. Here are a few passages that describe God as an ezer.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Our soul waits for the LORD, he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

But I am afflicted and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay. Psalm 70:5

When we say God is our help, our ezer, we place him in an exalted place: our shield, deliverer. Is God inferior to us because He is our help? No! Rather, God is elevated when we admit we need His help, that we can’t do it on our own. So why would we, as women, feel inferior by being created to help? By understanding that men cannot do it alone, that they need our help to fulfill their God-given roles? We are no more inferior to man because we were created to help any more than God is inferior to us when He is a help to us. As God is a help to His people, so woman was created to be a help to man.

To be a helper carries with it a unique characteristic: the innate ability to influence others. Influence is “the capacity or power to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions of others.” This is a powerful thing for God to entrust to our gender.

Unfortunately, our ability to influence has been tainted by sin. The influence that was meant to help has turned women into skilled manipulators, only influencing for their own selfish gain, harming others. A line from My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding sums this up nicely: “The man may be the head of the house, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” And for most of us, we know that this is true. Women, through subtlety, nuance, emotions, and skillful timing, usually can get what they want, especially from men.

But manipulation is a perversion of our design. Yes, we were meant to come alongside others and be a compelling force on their actions, behaviors, and thoughts. Not for our own selfish gain, but for their good and for the glory of God. We are called to influence others unto the glory of God.

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Faith, Humility, & The Glory of God: Foundations of Womanhood

a proper approach to biblical womanhood

In the last post, Biblical Womanhood, I introduced what will be a several part series on what the Bible has to say about womanhood. I briefly described the influence of feminism as well. And on that note, it is the influence of feminism that makes this topic such a touchy one. There are a lot of books, opinions, and viewpoints on this topic, and I care very little for them all. There is only one source I care to look at when it comes to my femininity, and that is the Bible. While I will quote from other people, their opinions are valuable to me only so far as they base all their arguments on the comprehensive truth of the Word of God.

But, before we dive into what the Bible says about womanhood, we need to come with a right heart posture. Because these topics have the potential to create tension and conflict, we need to make sure we come to this topic with 3 basic foundations:

  • A love for the glory of God: “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another.” (Isaiah 42:8)
  • A desire for humility: “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pet 5:5)
  • A heart of faith: “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom 14:23)

As Christians, our primary goal is to extend the fame, the renown, and the beauty of God. This purpose should be front and center in all we do, including our approach to this topic. Unlike the world’s self-centered views of gender, we want a God-centered view of gender.

The very first mention of male and female in the Bible revolves around God. Genesis 1:26-27 states,  “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God created two distinct expressions of humanity, male and female, to reflect Himself. Our femininity isn’t about us, it is about God and reflecting who He is.

We don’t reflect God simply as humans, but specifically as male and female. This is important because God is triune. God is one and God is also Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Unity and diversity in one God. Likewise, men and women are both human. They both have the same organ systems, bodily functions, and are distinctly human as compared to other species on the earth. Yet men and women are very different in how they express their humanity. It is with this unity of species and diversity of expression that we reflect God fully. This is why a Biblical expression of womanhood is important: to bring God glory.

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Biblical Womanhood

Biblical Womanhood

Men and women are different. A seemingly obvious statement, yet one that is up for debate nowadays. Our world is fighting to convince us that, besides their reproductive systems, there are no significant differences between a man and a woman. The logic goes like this:

1. Men and women should be equal.

2. Equality means the same.

3. Therefore, for men and women to be truly equal, they must be the same.

But equality does not equal sameness. This concept is widely understood in many areas of life. Consider the cultures in the world. Asian, European and South American cultures are all very different. They connect differently, eat different foods, and celebrate differently. Is one culture greater than another? Should all the cultures of the world be exactly the same so they can be equal? Of course not. It is the differences within the world’s cultures that bring so much beauty and value to the human race.

Are men and women equal in intrinsic value and dignity? Yes. Should we fight for this? Of course! But let us not strip each gender of their unique beauty, purpose, and strength by forcing them to be the same. Men and women most certainly are equal, but they are not the same.

I plan to take a couple weeks to post a series of articles on this topic of Biblical womanhood. Why is this topic important to me? For several reasons.

First, I am deeply loyal to the One who has spared my soul from its deserving end of eternal death, and therefore care deeply about what He has to say about my womanhood. Secondly, I believe that this same loving God was incredibly intentional about how and why He created man and woman and therefore what He has to say on the subject is my most trustworthy source. And lastly, I am a living example that “the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) My life is more full of joy, peace, purpose, and contentment as a result of the very truths I hope to share over these next weeks. So this topic is deeply personal to me as much as it is deeply theological.

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Valentine’s Day is Not About You

Valentines day

How did Valentine’s day become “I-need-someone-to-make-much-of-me day”?

The popular idea of love conjures up images of being served and doted on by others. So if you don’t have someone buying you flowers, sending you notes, and telling you you’re awesome on Valentine’s day, it then becomes an excuse to be angry and depressed.

Christian, your view of love should be markedly different than this. The way of love shown to us by Christ is self-sacrifice: considering the needs of others as more important than your own. For us, Valentine’s day should prompt acts of self-sacrifice not thoughts of who might puff us up with praise and compliments.

The Chick Flick Lie
If your ideas of love and romance have been primarily shaped by movies, then you are already at a disadvantage. Almost all romantic comedies portray love as worshiping, or making much of, another person. A man finds his true love, and she becomes the center of his universe as he spends all his energy seeking to make much of her. This is NOT love.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. -1 John 4:10

Love is primarily realized in relationship with God, who though He alone deserves to be made much of, laid aside that right to die in our place and give us access to the Father. This is love.

If anything, for the Christian, a chick flick should prompt you to consider how to love other people. But unfortunately, the common response to these movies is 1. assuming we deserve the right to be treated this way (which we do not), and 2. to mope and complain when we don’t have this kind of fake love.

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