Archive for the ‘Children and Family’ Category

Seven-fold Motivational Gifts Survey for Adults

 Seven-fold Motivational Gifts: Prophecy, Teaching, Exhorting, Ruling Serving, Giving, Mercy

“In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the this world.  Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.  For I am telling every single one of you, through the grace that has been given to me, not to have exaggerated ideas about your own importance. Instead, develop a sober estimate of yourself based on the standard which God has given to each of you, namely, trust”  (Romans 12:2-3).

Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given by the Father through the Holy Spirit, Ruach haKodesh, yet believers are told to desire the better gifts.  All of the gifts are necessary to accomplish the work of the Father in the Body of Messiah and as members of His Body, we would know our gifts and how to use them properly.

Every believer has at least one gift.  It may differ in degree and effectiveness and they way it is used from another believer having the same gift.  Each believer with his/her own giftings is necessary to the whole Body of Messiah.  If any member is not active – due to not knowing their gift, being quenched or rejected –  the whole Body becomes weak and suffers serious consequences as is seen in the floundering ‘church’ today.

Each gift emphasizes service to the Body of Messiah.  The motivating spirit, the attitude behind our gifts is as important as using our gifts.   We should each be motivated by love, love of Messiah and what He has done for us and not self-agrandizement.  We should use our gifts with the authority that has been given us in Messiah always giving the Father the glory.

We are to evaluate ourselves in terms of the gifts we have been given.  We should recognize that our gifts differ, yet we should have liberty to apply ourselves to the particular gift or gifts that are uniquely ours.  We exercise and increase our faith and those around us when we operate in our own unique gifts that God has given us.  We should and can always have an opportunity to use our gifts interdependently with others – inside a church building or outside.  Men with leadership gifts are to train others so that every member of the Body of Messiah will contribute to the overall growth of the whole Body.

An awareness of the urgency of the times in which we live should cause us to give priority to using our gifts.  The time is short.  The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  We will be held accountable for our gifts – did we bury them in the dirt somewhere or did we minister to the lost, dying, deceived, hungry, thirst, apostate.

There are different types of gifts listed in the Brit Chadasah/New Testament.  There are the five-fold ministry gifts or the ‘hands of the Messiah‘ found in Ephesians 4:8-13.     These are the people God calls to train and release other members of the Body into a functioning ministry.  There are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers.  All five of these ministries are for the Body of Messiah today and are needed to bring the Bride to maturity.

There is  the nine-fold manifestations of the Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12:7-12.  The can be divided into three groups of three.  The first group is the gift of speaking in tongues.  This gift enables the Body of Messiah to supernaturally speak and represent Messiah as a prophet of God.  Tongues or other languages are spoken supernaturally so that ‘the hearers’ may understand the message of Messiah in their language.  There are various kinds of tongues (1), there needs to be an interpretation of tongues (2), and there can be prophecy spoken to edify the Body of Messiah in the language known to the listeners.

The second group includes the gifts of power.  These gifts enable the Body of Messiah to act supernaturally and represent Messiah as Priest.  They are the gifts of healing, the gift of working miracles, and the gift of faith.

The last group includes gifts of revelation.  These gifts enable the Body of Messiah to think supernaturally and represent Messiah as King.  These are a word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discernment of spirits.

Finally, there are the seven-fold motivational gifts found in Romans 12:3-8.   All believers are called to manifest a measure of each of these gifts.  Yet, each believer has at least one very strong motivation gift or a combination of strong ones.  A person’s ministry is simply an expression of his unique collection of these gifts.  These are the ones covered in this posting: Prophecy, Teaching, Exhortation, Administration, Serving, Giving, and Mercy.

All manifestations of these spiritual gifts are triggered by a powerful anointing of the Spirit.  All believers can be a vessel used by God to bring forth healing, miracles, wisdom, knowledge, faith, and tongues in a moment to meet a present need.

It is important that we as believers know and understand our gifts so we can be used by God to our fullest capacity.  We are commanded by God to know our gifts and use them.  So, if you don’t know your gifts, how can you use it to His glory? Once you know your gift, take steps to develop it (or develop your children’s spiritual gifts).  If you know your gift, its strengths and weaknesses, you can use it productively and grow spiritually at the same time.  If the Body begins to really know, understand, and use the unique spiritual gifts God has given to each individual, there may be a revival of healing or miracles or prophecy.

What you may find as you learn about your motivational gift is that you already know what it is.  You may use it everyday in ordinary circumstances and you don’t realize it.  From personal experience, I was able to see that I lived more in the things to avoid part rather than the empowered by the Holy Spirit part.  Once I recognized the pitfalls of certain gifts, I was able to turn away from them and walk uprightly in the way God intended me to use my gifts.

Below is a survey to identify your gifts.  It was not written by me, but I have used it over the years to encourage others to find their gifts and the gifts of their children.  It is only a guideline and it’s not all-inclusive, but it will enlighten you to your ‘bents’ and tendencies.  Once you know them, you can begin to use them with wisdom and power and take your place in the Body of Messiah.

As you read each question, put the corresponding number that fits you next to it.

Usually (5), Sometimes (3), Seldom (1), Almost Never (0)

When you are finished, print out the Key/Chart for Adults and place your number in the correct boxes.   Add up the numbers in each column and circle the gift of the highest ones.  Then click on the links below to learn more about the characteristics of your spiritual motivational gifts.  There are 140 questions.  Be blessed as you learn more about yourself and how your Father created you for His purposes.

 

1.  People think I speak with authority.

2. I delight in deep study and research of the Bible.

3. People come to me for advice about their personal problems.

4. I enjoy placing people in the proper positions and ministries.

5. I am more interested in doing practical things that need to be done than why they should be done.

6. I would rather support a project with my money than my labor.

7. Visiting the sick is enjoyable to me.

8. When I sense a situation is not right, I feel a deep desire to speak up to bring correction.

9. I enjoy spending time searching out the answers to issues and questions.

10. I find it enjoyable to talk personally with people about their problems.

11. I find it important to set up objectives and goals for my ministry.

12. No task is too small for me; I just enjoy dong things that need to be done.

13. When I hear of someone in need, my first response is to give them financial aid.

14. I look for ways to cheer up people who are down and depressed.

15. I have the desire to speak up rather than remain silent when I am in a group where key issues are being discussed.

16. I am anxious to do my own research when questions arise.

17. There is joy when I can encourage people who are going through personal problems and trials.

18. I enjoy stimulating people to be more effective in their work.

19. I experience fulfillment when I carry out a task and it is appreciated by others.

20. I like to sense where financial help is needed, rather than being trapped by appeals.

21. I feel drawn to those who are suffering with emotional problems.

22. People often experience feelings of conviction when with me if they are not right with God.

23. I have an ability to explain difficult problems and give the reasons for what I believe.

24. I find joy in showing what can be accomplished as trials are turned into new areas of growth.

25. I am interested in training and disciplining other believers to become leaders.

26. I find it hard to believe that others don’t see tasks that need to be done.

27. I find myself living frugally to have money ready for God’s projects.

28. I enter into the sufferings of others as if they were my own.

29. When I share God’s Word I expect to see it bring conviction and repentance.

30. People appreciate my explanations of the Scriptures.

31. I find compassion and love welling up for people I counsel.

32. I find joy directing people in reaching their goals and objectives in their lives.

33. I would rather do a job myself than work with a group to accomplish it.

34. I can enjoy giving whether or not it is acknowledged.

35. I find myself concerned and praying for those in emotional distress.

36. Others have shared that I am an effective communicator of God’s Word.

37. People often come to me seeking specific answers to their Biblical questions.

38. I would rather listen to the problems of others than share my own.

39. I prefer to take leadership over a group when I have been asked.

40. When I am made aware of a job that needs to be done, I am anxious to do it myself.

41. My fulfillment comes in knowing that my giving was in answer to God’s prompting rather than man’s pleading.

42. I would enjoy a regular ministry to those who are suffering physically.

43. I seem to have a persuasiveness about my speech.

44. I find myself explaining the meanings of specific words rather than reciting a verse to people.

45. When a fellow believer comes to me who is entangled in sin, my greatest desire is to set him free.

46. WHen I am placed in a leadership position, I feel challenged.

47. I enjoy doing things that need to be done without being asked to do them.

48. I enjoy being appreciated for my giving, but not notoriety.

49. I seem to notice when others are hurting.

50. I find myself speaking God’s Word to others rather than taking the time to explain every detail.

51. I systematically organize my studies of the Word with notebooks and research books on the Bible.

52. I dislike ‘pity-parties’ and refuse to participate in them.

53. I easily fit people into the jobs for which they are equipped.

54. I can do a task without thinking through the many details of it.

55. It thrills me when I find my giving is an answer to prayer.

56. It gives me great joy to minister to those wounded emotionally.

57. I find I would prefer ministering to others through the Scriptures rather than from personal experience.

58. I have noticed that people appreciate the things I have shared from my research of the Word.

59. I write letters from time to time to friends which proved to be very encouraging to them.

60. I presently serve in a leadership position in my church.

61. I prefer to do the work by myself rather than delegate it.

62. I believe I am called of God to place my money in His projects.

63. I am willing and eager to spend time and energy with those who are suffering.

64. I would be willing to correct another believer by showing him his error and giving him a Scriptural principle to help him, with the result that the correction was applied to his life.

65. I would like to teach regularly.

66. I have found it my experience that I am easy to talk to and often have people share with me heart to heart.

67. I have served in several positions requiring my organization ability.

68. I am very skillful with my hands and enjoy doing maintenance jobs.

69. I consider it a great honor and privilege to give to worthwhile missionary projects.

70. I would like to help down-and-outers through some ministry-related program.

71. I know for certain that a number of things have happened in an individual’s life and in my church situation in general, because I have given a Scriptural admonition which was needed.

72. I believe if I taught, lives could be changed.

73. People often took to me to encourage someone who is facing a hard time.

74. I have overseen church property in some supervisory responsibility.

75. I can fix almost anything and have gladly used my skill to help other believers who need my help.

76. I have been able to do without things (to me they are luxuries anyway) that others consider necessary in order to give more to God’s work.

77. I like to cheer up physically-handicapped people.

78. I would like to be asked to speak on moral issues in my church.

79. People apply the things I have taught them to their lives.

80. I find that I am sensitive to people and can recognize that they are hurting.

81. I have been chosen to serve on committees which were formed to solve administrative problems with church programs.

82. I have helped a number of believers with practical things even though it meant I put off something I needed to do for myself.

83. God somehow seems to bring to my attention financial needs of believers in my church.

84. I would like to help in an educational program to help underprivileged children or adults.

85. When I speak I usually get people’s attention.

86. I have read the Bible through a number of times.

87. I try to go out of my way to give a cheerful word to people around me and find that I usually encourage people in a general way.

88. I am often asked to arrange for the details of meetings, making sure everything is ready.

89. I have often been one of the first to volunteer for something the pastor felt was needed concerning physical labor around the church.

90. I have consistently given more an 1/10 of my income to God’s work.

91. I would like to help take food baskets to poor people.

92. People either strongly agree or strongly disagree with my statements.

93. If I were to teach, I would use the lecture method.

94. I often counsel with people.

95. I have been placed in charge of several programs which required organizational ability.

96. I don’t mind unexpected guests in my home if I know we are helping them.

97. I am certain that God has given me special abilities to make money. I know that this is because He expects to use me as a vessel to give large amounts to His projects.

98. I would like to distribute clothing to needy people.

99. I find myself taking a definite stand on issues.

100. I believe I could hold people’s attention well enough to teach 50 minutes or more.

101. I am a good listener.

102. I enjoy doing long-term projects.

103. I wouldn’t mind if the pastor or someone else in the church asked me to accommodate guests in my home.

104. I would enjoy contributing financially to programs helping orphans or other underprivileged.

105. I would enjoy working with orphans.

106. When I speak out on an issue, sometimes my voice takes on deep emotional tones which God can use to break hearts so that there is hearing to my message.

107. I would like to lead a discussion group to help people discover truth for themselves and apply it to their lives.

108. I enjoy counseling an individual to give him steps of action.

109. When I am in charge of a project, I desire harmony amongst the workers so that all may run smoothly.

110. I find real satisfaction in doing practical things that will help others and try to seek opportunities to do so joyfully.

111. I like to give to a person who is involved in a specific ministry to others.

112. I would become empathetically involved with alcoholics if I worked with them.

113. People come and tell me I have spoken directly into their lives after I have spoken.

114.  If I were to teach, I would plan my teaching to accomplish measured objectives and would check periodically for effectiveness.

115. If a person was having trouble with his job, I would try and change the attitude of the person.

116. If a person was having trouble with his job, I would try and change his responsibilities.

117. I prefer to accomplish short-term projects and goals.

118. I find myself viewing ministries from a financial perspective.

119. I believe I could have a cheerful influence on people in a prison rehabilitation program.

120. I am more interested in clearing up error than in keeping harmony.

121. I have been called by other churches to teach various subjects to them.

122. I like to use personal interaction to encourage spiritual growth.

123. When I am asked to organize an activity, I delegate many of the responsibilities to others.

124. When I am asked to perform a job, I do most of it myself.

125. There have been times when I sensed some special financial need but did not have the finances to meet it.  Money then came int through an unexpected source.  I know that God wanted me to meet the need. So I gave.

126. I could get empathetically involved with helping drug addicts.

127. After I have spoken I like to see an immediate response of greater commitment.

128. Sometimes I would rather do research for a lesson than teach the lesson.

129. I would rather talk to an individual than a group.

130. I like to take a project, break it down into various parts, and systematically organize a plan to accomplish the final goal.

131. I would rather meet people’s personal needs than counsel them.

132. When I feel led by the Lord to give, I like to give generously, without thinking of the sacrifice it may involve.

133. In small groups with which I have been associated, it is not uncommon for someone to tell me that something I said has been a real comfort to them.

134. People seem to want to confess their sins to me.

135. When I am helping people find solutions to their problems, I start with Scripture and relate it to their experience.

136. When I am helping people find solutions to their problems, I start with human experience and relate it to Scripture.

137. I am able, with discipline, to work under pressure and accomplish things, as long as I know my goals and objectives.

138. I find it difficult to say ‘no’ when I see something practical which can be done to help someone in need.

139. I think it is sinful if a person fails to manage his/her financial assets well.

140. I am more interested in the atmosphere of a worship service than the structure of the service.

Now go to the Key/Chart for Adult Survey and place your numerical responses in the corresponding boxes.

 

©1983 The Keys to Church Harmony

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Gifts for Children Survey

What motivates your child?  Why are there such personality differences  between your children?  Why are some children more outspoken than others?  Why do some children love to read?  Why do other children love animals?  Why do some children order others around?

I compiled this children’s survey from an adult one created by WorldTeam, Inc.  When doing this little survey to discover your child’s/children’s spiritual gifts, please remember that these are just guidelines for better understanding your children and how to pray for them.  God made them and He will mold them into the people He desires them to become.  We are called as parents to nurture them and provide a loving environment so as His seedlings, they may grow into their fullest potential.

It is most important, too, that your children know and understand that they have been created uniquely by God and as such, they will be different and unique from all other people – even their own siblings. Teach them that God has empowered them with gifts to be used for His glory.  As they begin to operate in their spiritual motivations, they will be fulfilling their own good, pleasing and perfect will of their Father.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Galatians 1:15 “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man.”

Psalm 138:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before on of them came to be.”  

In order to do the survey below, you will need the Children’s Key/Form.  Follow the directions on the form to tally the responses of your children.

 

1.  You like games that are real and not pretend.

2.  You like your room cleaned up and orderly.

3.  Everyone seems to like you and enjoy being around you.

4.  You love to collect things and love to receive magazines.

5.  You love little cars and trucks or tea sets and crafts.

6.  You are very friendly and find it hard to keep secrets to yourself.

7.  Loud noises bother you because you like the quiet.

8.  You love to play sports and follow the rules.

9.  You like to be on time when you are going somewhere.

10.  When you are with a lot of people, you find yourself having lots of fun, talking and visiting.

11.  You don’t mind not having close friends.

12.  You enjoy knitting or looking through a microscope or playing with construction sets.

13.  You love to share you toys your books, your activities with everyone.

14.  You love to hug and be cuddled.

15.  You love being part of a group of people.

16.  You stand your ground when friends want you to do something you know is wrong.

17.  You enjoy pretending you are in movies or plays.  You are good at acting.

18.  You love to organize you room, your books and your toys.  You love labels.

19.  Playing with clay and coloring is a lot of fun.

20.  You enjoy being around people.

21.  You love pets and reading about animals.

22.  You always want to know ‘why’ something happens in a book or story.

23.  You like to tell people how to play games, put toys together.

24.  You love jokes and teasing people, but you know when to stop.

25.  You enjoy doing many different things rather than focusing on one interest.

26.  You really love being with your family.

27.  You don’t like to be corrected unless there’s a good reason and it makes sense to you.

28.  When someone is sick, you want to make them feel better.

29.  You have a lot of energy.

30.  You enjoy playing alone.

31.  Whenever you can help make someone’s job easier, you help.

32.  You enjoy solving problems and have thoughts of being a detective and solving a big mystery.

33.  When you have too much to do, you feel overwhelmed.

34.  You would rather play with other children than with your toys.

35.  You love stories with happy endings.

36.  You only like activities that interest you.

37.  You love to read all different kinds of books, stories, and magazines.

38.  You are always ‘up’ and happy, and full of life.

39.  You love to make plans and write everything down.

40.  You get nervous when you have to speak in front of a group of people.  You don’t really like oral presentations.

41.  You are loyal and faithful to your friends.

42.  You love to do what other people are doing.

43.  You wonder about what is going to happen tomorrow or in the future.

44.  You love to prepare assignments for school.

45.  Forgiving is better than holding a grudge so you quickly forgive people when they hurt you.

46.  You like animals, but don’t like to take care of them.

47.  Sometimes you pretend to be a teacher or librarian or secretary.

48.  Throwing anything away makes you feel wasteful.

49.  You want to cry whenever you’re corrected.

50.  When you color out of the lines, you want to throw away the picture.

51.  Your friends ask you to show them how to do things they want to learn.

52.  You wonder why things happen as they do.

53.  You lay out your clothing for the next morning so you are prepared.

54.  You enjoy helping when you think of what to do and do it.

55.  You love to do things to make other people feel happy.

56.  Sometimes it’s hard for you to tell others what you are feeling.

57.  You want your friends to do as you tell them after you tell them.

58.  Intricate toys fascinate you, but you don’t take them apart unless you know how to put them back together again.

59.  You enjoy spending time with your parents and family.

60.  You always seem to have a new idea for a project or plan.

61.  You don’t like constant reading.  It’s boring.

62.  You sometimes find yourself telling other people what you think about them and what they are doing.

63.  You think it’s unfair when someone is treated unkindly and you stick up for that person.

The Key Chart for Children’s Survey

©2013 jsixrock and The Keys to Church Harmony, 1983

High Calling of Motherhood

by Edith Detweiler*

The Heartbeat of the Remnant, April 1999

“I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Motherhood is a high and holy calling, but before we can press towards the mark for the prize, we need to know what the mark is, where it is, and how to get there.

God has lovingly provided the way for every one of us to get there.

Whether we attain to God’s high calling does not depend on our circumstances:  what kind of husband we have, how many children we have, how great we feel physically, what kind of personality we have, what our living conditions are, or even what kind of background we have.  God is not a respecter of persons.  However, attaining to the high calling of motherhood does depend upon the quality of our relationship with Jesus.

When we look at the ‘high calling’ of motherhood, we have to consider three areas of our lives.

1.  A vibrant relationship with Jesus.

2.  Sanctifying our motherhood.

3.  Keeping our hearts in our home.

 

A Vibrant Marriage Relationship With Jesus

Most women desire to have children, but motherhood doesn’t start with babies.  It begins with a relationship.  How foolish it would be to try to have a baby without an intimate, love relationship with your husband!  So it is in your spiritual life.  You desire to bring forth fruit to the glory of God, but it will never work if you are not living in the reality of a vibrant relationship with God.  Once you are real with God, you will find his grace and power flowing into your life, making you a vessel He uses daily to carry His glory into your home.

Love relationship.

You need a love relationship with God through Jesus.

You need to bask in Jesus’ love and let His love fill your heart, then respond with love and praise to Him.  He wants your love; your heart of love.  Then out of this beautiful love-relationship with Jesus, your life will overflow with love for your husband, your children, and everyone else you touch.  Natural love will not reach far enough to bring glory to God.  It must be the love of Jesus.

Trust relationship.

You need a trusting relationship with Jesus.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

Jesus means just that – trusting – when He says, “Seek ye first.”  The reason we come up with excuses to not seek Him first is because we do not trust Him to take care of all ‘these things’.  We feel so responsible to get enough sleep and take care of the household, but God wants us to take Him at His Word and simply obey in faith.

In my own life, I can testify that the Lord cares for me in an amazing way when I rise up early to nurture my relationship with Him.  It is a delightful relationship that I never want to miss out on.  He is always faithful!  I know I can trust Him!

“Faith is the leaning of your entire personality on Christ in complete trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.” Colossians 1:14 Amplified Bible

Strength relationship.

You need a strengthening relationship with Jesus.

“She girds herself with strength (spiritual, mental, and physicals fitness for her God-given task) and makes her arms strong and firm.”  Proverbs 31:17 (Amplified Bible)

Here you clothe yourself with divine strength.  Here you get your soul happy in the Lord.  Here the joy of the Lord becomes your strength.  You would never think of beginning a day without getting your body dressed.  It is even more foolish to begin a day without girding your soul with a divine strength for your God-given task of motherhood.

Satisfying relationship.

You need a satisfying relationship with Jesus.

“She opens her mouth with skillful and godly wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness and giving counsel and instruction.”  Proverbs 31:26 (Amplified Bible)

Here, Jesus meets the particular needs of your heart, washing, cleaning, setting you free from the burdens of sin and filling you with His marvelous peace.  Here Jesus quenches your spiritual thirst and satisfies your hungry soul.  Don’t settle for anything less than an relationship that meets every need of your heart and satisfies your soul in Christ so you are complete in Him.

A mother who is not satisfied in Christ is not able to bring the glory of God into her home. She does not have these kind of words from herself.  They must come from a daily, fresh infilling of the Word of God, the source of rivers of living water.  She needs God’s anointing upon her words as well as her life in Christ.

Sanctify Your Motherhood

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…. That we should be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ.”  Ephesians 1:4,12

To sanctify motherhood means to ‘set it apart for God’.    Your call is much higher than taking care of babies and children, cleaning, cooking and caring for your husband.  Even carnal women can do a pretty good job in these areas.  If you find yourself so wrapped up in the natural needs of your family, that you make little progress in your own spiritual growth and nurturing your family’s spiritual health, you have not sanctified motherhood.  You need to get a firm hold on what God’s purpose is for you as a mother.

Allow the eyes of your spiritual understanding to be enlightened so that you receive a clear vision of God’s higher calling and His purpose for a mother.   As you sanctify your motherhood, your devotional life should hold the highest priority for you.

Your personal quiet time with God will not just be one of the many things to get done in a day.   It will be THE ONE THING – the priority.   It will become the hub from which all the day’s fruitfulness extends.

The most important part of your labor as a mother is accomplished during your quiet time in the presence of God.  The only way to have the fruit of motherhood that will withstand the tests of life and bring glory to God is if you labor WITH God.  What you do apart from laboring with Him will amount to wood, hay, and stubble. It will burn in the fire of testing.   In order to build with precious stones, you need to  listen for His words of clear direction for your specific needs and area of service.  When you begin to have  this kind of communication with Him, you will have sanctified your motherhood and labor along-side of your Lord and Master.

God wants to make you a woman of prayer, a woman who has God’s power and understands  how to pray in the Spirit and get answers to her prayers.  Oh, it is a great part of your calling as a mother to pray for your children.   Sisters, learn to pray!

Learn the secret of fasting.  For years, I thought fasting was not for me because I was either expecting or nursing a baby.  But God showed me I was wrong.  He showed me how I fasted when I obeyed Him and sought Him through prayer and fasting.  He always came through to me in amazing workings.  My life has never been the same.  Praise God!

As you become more sanctified through prayer, His Word, and waiting on Him, you will be convinced that there is absolutely no other way possible to reach the high calling of motherhood in your life.

Keep Your Heart In Your Home

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that ye may know the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power toward you.” (Ephesians 1: 18-19)

If you desire to reach the high calling of motherhood, you must keep your heart at home (includes staying at home) and get rid those things that keep you from the work of bringing God’s glory into your home.

Distractions.  Get rid of unnecessary distractions.    Know and accept your own limitations. Learn to say “No” to many voices that only distract you from your high calling as a mother for God’s glory.  Get rid of those things that leave you feeling disoriented.   Be slow to assume responsibility outside the home.  “She considers a new field before she buys or accepts it – expanding slowly and not courting the neglect of her present duties by assuming others.” Proverbs 31:16 (Amplified Version)

Light reading.  Don’t allow your mind to be cluttered with the “Christian” reading that lacks God’s anointing.  It will lure you away from the real issues that God is working in your life and home.

Phone chatter.  Unedifying and unnecessary talk definitely darkens the mind.

Theology. Be aware of the trap of being preoccupied with theology while passing over the glory of a beautiful relationship with Jesus in your actual daily life.  Also, do not assume the burden of the church problems that are not your responsibility.  They will weigh you down and make it impossible for you to function gracefully within your own realm.

Straying interests. You can get carried away with studying and doing interesting things, while your children helplessly look on, trying to keep up with you, or live in their own world while you live in yours. (Titus 2:5)

Other people’s problems.  Don’t get into them unless God specifically calls you to minister.  Learn to intercede for others, but flee from gossip and minding other people’s business. (1 Timothy 5:13)

Peer pressure.  Yes, peer pressure a common distraction for mothers.  You feel pressured to perform like other mothers do.  You try so hard to keep up with the way others keep house, garden, sew, can, and freeze.  God’s not trying to get you to measure up to someone else’s performance, He wants a beautiful love-relationship with you.

Remove all of these things  so that you can bring the glory of God to the next generation.  That is the high calling of motherhood.  God is seeking mothers who are zealous for His glory and who become agents for bringing His glory into their homes.  God needs you to represent His glory, His name, His purpose, and His working in your home so that the work of His Kingdom can be advanced through your home.

God purposes for you to sanctify yourself daily and live in the reality of a vibrant relationship with Him so that you can share it and pass it on to your children.  God has purposed that you should be His agent to bring your children into the realm of His blessing.  God wants to reveal His glory to your children and He has chosen to do it through YOU.

“She rises while it is yet night, and gets spiritual food for her household, and assigns her maids their tasks.” Proverbs 31:15

You wouldn’t think of not feeding your children natural food for one day.  It is even more important to provide them with spiritual food for their hungry souls.  Yes, their souls are hungry and you must supply them with fresh living bread from heaven for their nourishment.

Our children belong to the Lord.  We might understand a bit how He feels about them when we think how we feel when we entrust our child to someone else to watch over them for a time  We are very much concerned about how that child is treated in our absence.  Much more so with God as He entrusts His children into our homes for a few short years.

“She tastes and sees that her gain from work (with and for God) is good; her lamp goeth not out, but burns on continually through the night (of trouble, privations, or sorrow) warning away fear, doubt, and mistrust.”  Proverbs 31:18 (Amplified Bible)

God has so many beautiful things He yearns to do in the lives of our children and He is seeking mothers who understand His heart and will work with Him.  Oh!  How He loves each child!  How He broods over them!  How He grieves when we deprive them of seeing God’s glory through us.  We either reveal His glory or else put an awful blot upon His name by our attitudes, words, and actions throughout the hours of every day.

Are you letting the glory of God shine through you by the way you respond when things go wrong?  When the baby keeps fussing?  When the boys misbehave?  When the milk spills?  When your husband changes your plans?  When you are tired and weary?  When you are on behind in your work and the house is out of order?

God wants you to reveal His glory by speaking words of faith in every situation, speaking words of grace and love, words that overflow from a heart that is full of God’s Word and full of His love.  You reveal His glory by showing your children an excellent spirit no matter what happens.  You may never attain to perfection in all the petty details of life, but there is one area that must always be sanctified.  You must have and you can have a sanctified attitude.

Choose the High Calling

If you are not living in the reality of a vibrant relationship with the Lord as the basis of your motherhood, you need to repent.  Repent of grieving God by putting other things before your relationship with Him.  Repent of all your excuses and human reasonings for not trusting Him.   Repent of your lack of discipline and your lack of faith and lack of sanctifying your call as a mother.

Our home is a very busy place with eleven children.  I used to think it was impossible for me to get up early and have quiet time before the family was up.  I tried to pray while I worked and read snatches of God’s Word here and there.  I was surviving, but I wasn’t really growing.  I didn’t have the power of God to bring His glory into our home.  I am so glad God showed me I was wrong and that He lifted me out of the miry clay (my excuses) and now He has established my goings.

Sisters, go deep with God now.  Don’t wait for a more convenient season.  Don’t allow yourself to drift on in a shallow surface-relationship with God, grieving him daily by your refusal to be a vessel for His grace and glory in your home.   Keep your relationship with God vibrant, fresh and sanctified so that you hear and know what God is saying to you so you can stick with the high calling of motherhood.

*Edited by Julie Almanrode

A Crown for Your Husband

The Heartbeat of the Remnant, February 1999

by Kary Martin

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, but she that maketh ashemed is as rottenness to his bones.”  (Proverbs 12:4).

What comes to your mind when you think of a crown?  Something hiding in the closet collecting dust?  Hardly.  We immediately picture something glorious; something very beautiful to behold.  Almost unconsciously we envision the honor, dignity, and power which a crown represents.  Try to imagine a crown of pure gold, inset with thousands of diamonds and hundreds of pearls.  Wouldn’t it be beautiful?  Now think of a woman who is ‘made of pure gold.’ Her heart is set on following Jesus.  Her motives, actions, and words are pure before God.  She has hundreds of little attributes that make her shine.  Doesn’t this sound just as beautiful?  Doesn’t it sound like an outstanding woman?  Does it sound at all like your husband’s wife?

Now what comes to mind as you consider rottenness in the bones?  My mind immediately went to my husband’s uncle who died of bone cancer.  The cancer started in his leg bones and was slowly ‘eating’ away at them.  No one could actually see it happening, but watching the symptoms, no one doubted that it was true.  One day the bones became too weak to support the rest of his body’s weight and the bones broke.  With the condition his body was in, the bones could no longer repair themselves, as a normal, healthy body does.  What a likeness for the husband-wfie relationship! I believe if we could see behind many scenes, we would see this happening over and over again.  There are many, many wives who are ‘eating away’ at their husbands and finally one day the husband is so weak that he ‘breaks.’  Thhe damage that is done is irreparable outside of Jesus Christ.

Are you a shining crown to your husband, or are you a rottenness that is slowly eating away at his very life?  The Bible doesn’t give any middle ground.  Now we are going to dig into a few of the ways that you are either honoring your husband or destroying him.

 

The Heart of Her Husband Doth Safely Trust in Her

We all want to be trusted, especially by those closest to us, and just now we will focus on our husbands.  Trust is at the very heart of a marriage relationship.  Our love and affections are built on how much we trust each other.  A wise person does not naively bestow his trust on just anyone.  If your husband does not trust you, don’t blame him; it is most likely your own fault.  You have, in one way or another, given him reasons to believe that you are not trustworthy.

As I was meditating on this, the Lord gave me a very profound, yet simple thought: “How much your husband trusts you is a good gauge of how submissive you are to him.”  Selah.  (Stop and think about that for a little!)  If your husband can count on you, and knows that you will subjit to him “as unto the Lord,” I guearantee that “his heart will safely trust in you.” 

Now, what is submission?  A close look at it would say that it is an attitude, not simply an action.  Submission knows what her husband’s heart is and uses it as her guide.  Submission will never try to see what she can get away with or how far she can stretch the limits.  That is not submission at all; that is rebellion!  Submission also allows her husband to make mistakes and never comes back with “Didn’t I tell you?”.  Submission at times may need to say, “I don’t understand and I think we ought to do this instead, but if you choose to go ahead anyhow, I will be cheerfully by your side helping you.”

I recently observed a woman ask her husband his opinion on something.  His opinion did not correspond with the way she was leaning, so she fussed and stewed about it until she finally made up her mind which way to do this certain thing.  The whole scene didn’t last more than 10 minutes; it was not an important issue, but it told me something about their relationship and who has the last word in their home.

Your husband knows whether or not you are submissive.  He knows how highly you value his opinions and whether nor not you will follow his heart’s wishes if it conflicts with yours.  Stop and consider for a few moments – are there certain areas that your husband cannot trust you in?  Do you give him good reason to worry about what you might do?  Is his heart at rest while you are out shopping, equipped with the checkbook and credit cards?  Does he wish you wouldn’t spend so much of his hard-earned money?  Does his heart safely trust you while he is off at work and you are home with the children?  Are you training them in the way his heart desires or does he groan to think of all the ‘catch-up’ work he’ll have to do again tonight?  Can your husband safely trust you with confidential information or is he reserved for fear that the whole town will know it by the end of the week?

There are many little areas that either build up or tear down his trust in you.  You are daily showing, in the little things, whether or not you are working to please your husband.  Thinks like the food you fix for him, the way you treat his personal items, the remakes you make to your children, if you say his name with a groan and a sigh, or the looks you give him that he never sees.

Work hard to please your husband; the results are sweet: “His heart will safely trust in you!” 

 

And Let the Wife See That She Reverence Her Husband

Let me repeat that verse again as the Amplified Version gives it:

“And let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, loves and admires him exceedingly).”  (Ephesians 5:33).

And also 1 Peter 3:2 “… your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer, to revere him – to honor, esteem, prize, and in the human sense, adore him, that is to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].”

Wow!  What a big order!  But what husband wouldn’t shine if he was treated that way?! To sum it all up briefly we could say, “Make your husband feel like the most worthwhile, most important person in the world!”

How do you treat something that you esteem, prize, honor, prefer, etc? Watch your children, they will show you.  If they ‘prize’ their bicycle, will they leave it lying in the middle of the driveway?  If they ‘prefer’ that piece of candy, will you find it smashed on the floor somewhere?  Just how do you take care of your husband?  Some women can do the right things, but since it was not done in a heart of love, their time and efforts were wasted.  You are constantly sending signals to him about how highly you esteem him.  If in your heart you do not highly regard your husband, he will know it and so will your children.  If you treat him as though he is a detriment to your family’s spiritual progress, you are tearing down any desire he has to make any progress at all.

Did you notice that there are no ‘if’s’ included in the above verses?  You are not supposed to wait until your husband becomes Mr. Perfect to reverence him, you are to praise, love and admire him whether he deserves it or not.  That is what God requires and expects of you.

Now let us think a bit about the opposite of reverence.  She is known in the Bible as a contentious woman.  The meaning of contentious is this: “an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes.”  Synonyms to the root word, contention, are rivalry, competition, and discord.

Howe does a woman like this effect her home?  Many men hate all the fighting and allow their wife to ‘grab the reins’ hand have her own way.  Then the wife wonders why she has a weak-kneed husband who stays aloof from the affairs of the home.  She lays the blame on him and little suspects that she herself is at the very root of the problem.

Here is what God’s Word says about a contentious woman: (from the Amplified Bible) “… The contentions of a wife are like a continual dripping [of water through a chink in the roof].” (Proverbs 19:13b).

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome and faultfinding woman.” (Proverbs 21:9).

“Whoever attempts to restrain [a contentious woman] might as well try to stop the wind – his right hand encounters oil [and she slips through his fingers].” (Proverbs 27:16).

Have you ever observed a contentious woman?  Do you know she can dress in modest clothes?  She can go to church, put on a smile and act like a wonderful person.  A peek behind this nice mask would show you quite another person.

Sit back and observe yourself for awhile.  How do you act and react to those around you – your husband in particular?  If you were another person, would you like to live with some one just like you?  (Maybe you can sympathize a bit with your husband!)  By God’s grace, the testimony of your life can be that of Proverbs 31:12 “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

 

She Girdeth Herself With Strength

Strength?  I thought that is a masculine trait!  Does my husband care if I’m strong or not?!  Well, maybe not in muscle power, but I’m sure he wants an emotionally and spiritually strong wife.  A weak wife, in that aspect, is a drain to any man!

Here are a few characteristics of an emotionally weak person:  First and foremost, she is a very self-centered person.  This is the root of most of her other problems.  Her life rotates around “me and my feelings”.  She is very moody, easily discouraged, and her life shows a lack of consistent joy.  When a challenge comes her way, she is full of fear and doubt, rather than take the challenge and allow it to mature her.  It is very hard for an emotionally weak person to accept criticism or advice that goes against her will without becoming personally wounded.

An emotionally weak mother is tearing down her home faster than dad can build it.  He’s trying to lead the family in ways of holiness.  He’s trying to bring the children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but mom’s tender feelings are working hard against him.  After a spanking, the child knows mom will have a pity-party with him.  If dad won’t let him have his way, he knows mom will.  (It won’t take long until he’s smart enough to ask her first!)  A weak mother tries to sweet-talk or manipulate her children into obeying, rater than applying the ‘rod of correction.’

I recently heard a story of a woman who was praying for her son who had become careless and indifferent.  Of specific concerns to his mother were his driving habits.  This praying mother began entreating God for her son to have a wreck with his car.  God arranged circumstances to answer her prayers.  One day her son was involved in a bad accident.  No one was killed, but it was enough to turn the boy’s heart towards God.

Wow!  What a strong woman!  Her goals were set on eternity.  She was not overly concerned about the monetary value of the car.  She knew it would be painful to her, seeing her son badly hurt.  Perhaps it would mean several weeks in the hospital – and that would have had a big effect on her, too.  But she managed to look past the earthly, temporal things and desired for her son to be saved at any cost!

Are you an emotionally weak person?  The next prediction is that you are also spiritually weak.  It is nearly impossible to be emotionally weak and spiritually strong.  There is a vast difference between a spiritual baby and a spiritual weakling.  A baby simply has not had time to mature yet; a weakling is refusing the maturing process.  They find it much easier to be spoon-fed than to go find their own food.  They love the attention of sitting down with the preacher and mulling over their problems.  They are continually struggling with the same basic problems, although they come with a new face on now and then.

Have you ever considered what Proverbs 31:18 could mean when it says, “her candle goeth not out by night?”  Here’s how the Amplified Version says it: “Her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].”  Doesn’t that sound like a strong woman?  Someone you can count on ‘through thick and thin.’

A weak person reminds me of the story of Peter in Matthew 14.  Yes, you have bravely gotten out of the boat and started towards Jesus.  Or in today’s terms, you may have left behind everything that was once dear to you to follow Christ’s call to “Come”.  It was a very brave, strong and courageous thing to do.  But as time goes on, somehow, just like Peter, you have taken your eyes off of Christ.  You are now focusing on the wave and turbulence around you.  You may not even realize it, but you are sinking, just as surely as Peter was.  You need to, as Peter did, get your eyes back on Jesus and cry out, “Lord, save me!”  You need to recognize this ‘weakness’ as sin.  There is a master deceiver behind all these ‘waves’ and his only inent is to get your eyes off of Jesus , for then surely one day you will become his prey.

 

Who Serves Who?

“But for Adam there was not an help meet found for him.” (Genesis 2:20)

After Adam realized he was not complete alone, God made Eve.  When God made the woman, he made her for the man.  She was to be a helper who was suitable and complimentary (meet) for him.  This was God’s original plan and He hasn’t altered it in the several thousand years that have elapsed since then.

Dear sister, this is your first and highest calling – to be a complimentary counterpart for your husband.  Yes, I know God also wants you to bear children and guide the house (1 Timothy 5:14), but how can you do these effectively if the very foundation is not solid?  If your husband’s personal life is not bettered because of you, one of the basic stones in the foundation of your home is missing.  Notice I said, ‘personal life’; I mean something more than washing clothes and cooking food.  I am referring to his own personal character qualities.

There are women around, and you may be one of them, who seem to have God’s idea all turned around.  They seem to think their husband is there to make life easier for them.  They treat him like he is their servant boy.  There are things which they are perfectly capable of doing themselves, but they whine and beg for their husband’s help.  He was not made to serve you – you were made for him!  ONe of the qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman is that ‘she worketh willingly with her hands”.  It doesn’t say anything about whether she enjoys the job or not, or whether the job is easy or difficult, or whether she is well rested or tired. It simply says she works willingly.

There are things that we need our husband’s help with and these things can be presented to him in a sweet and submissive manner.  Pick your time and place carefully.  Unless the need is urgent, wait for a time when he is not pressured with other things (his job, church work, etc.)  and also wait for a time when he is not overly tired or hungry.  Eccl. 8:5 says, “A wise man’s mind will know both when and waht to do.” (Amplified Version).  Women, be wise!

Do you wish your husband would help out a bit more around the house?  Consider several things.  First of all, who feels like helping a whining, nagging wife?!  Of course she does it in a bit more of a grown-up way than a 4-year old does, but it is just as wearisome and disgusting.  If your husband’s wife does this, by the grace of God, make her stop it right away.  Your husband is to be the leader of the home and it is not your place to manipulate him into doing things.  If he chooses not to help you at all, you need to silently, sweetly submit to this and get along the best you can.

The second thing to consider is that your husband probably has just as much or more pressure at his job than you do around the house.  Perhaps it would open your eyes a bit if you’d spend a day with him at work.  Then you could see first hand how hard he works and how much stress he is under.  When he gets home he wants to relax and enjoy the family – not simply change bosses for a few hours.

The third thing I have for you to consider, figure out how your husband shows you love.  Just because so-and-so’s husband washes dishes for her at least once a week does not make their marriage any better or worse than yours.  There’s a good chance your husband does other things for you and you just aren’t appreciating them.  Perhaps he gives you back rubs frequently.  Maybe he puts the children to bed every night and lets you enjoy a bit of time to yourself.  There are hundreds of possibilities.  Stop wishing he’d do certain things for you and start appreciating the things he is already doing!

If you were not raised in a Christian setting, what I have written may be hard for you to digest.  The world is so geared to trying to ‘equalize’ everything; they know nothing about the joys of servanthood.  Women selfishly pursue what they think will make them the happiest.  In the process, men are being torn down and women are still lacking the satisfaction they long for.  God did not make women inferior to men, just different from them.  He wants to give them a special place of protection – under man!  We find peace, joy fulfillment and satisfaction only as we live out our God-ordained roles.  If you choose to take the world’s path, you will doubtlessly live with their results: fighting, bickering, broken marriages, wrecked homes and juvenile delinquents.

 

The Only Hope of Winning an Unbelieving Husband

If you are the wife of an unbeliever, 1 Peter 3 was written for you.  Read it carefully.  According to this chapter, God wants to use you to reach your husband.  Your life needs to represent the power of a living Christ.  Your husband needs to feel respect from you, he needs to see that you are sweetly submitting to him.  He needs to sense that you are teaching the children to respect and obey him.  As he observes your Godly life, this will speak volumes to him about Jesus.  There may be times you absolutely must go against your husband’s wishes, simply because you need to obey your higher authority, which  is God.  This can be done in a submissive spirit and not a rebellious, “I know-better-than-you” attitude.  Never use obeying God as a religious cover-up for things in which you just do not feel like obeying your husband.

If you have your own ideas about how to change your husband, you may as well forget them.  They won’t work; they will only make him bitter.  Only God’s methods can bring about a genuine change in him.  There are two things you can do for him.  Only two:  1.  Give him a sweet and Godly (God-like) wife.  2.  Pray and fast for him.  Here is the source of all power.  And remember this one thing: God has higher aspirations for your husband than you do.

If your husband is a believer, but a very weak one, these things are for you, too.  These are the only ways of strengthening your husband.  No amount of pleading or condemning will change him.  At best, they could bring about a reform for awhile, but unless God works the changes in his heart, they are bound to fail.

 

A Few Closing Thoughts

Although this article is far from being all-inclusive, I trust it has stimulated your thinking enough to examine what kind of effect you are having on your husband.  I encourage you to study the personality of the Proverbs 31 woman.  If you find you are not measuring up, do not simply determine to do better.  Don’t make out a list of things and resolve to do them.  If the mirror (the Bible) has shown that your face is dirty, determining to stay out of the mud is not good enough.  You need to start by hating the mud and then allowing yourself to get a good wash job.

This chapter, Proverbs 31, is so wonderful in that it not only sets for the ideal, but it gives us the secret of how to accomplish it!  Today’s business world hurriedly puts a patent on any good ideas os that no one else can copy them, but our gracious Heavenly Father discloses His secrets to all who search for them.  The secret lies in verse 30: “A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Why praised?  Because she has been this virtuous woman.  And how has she accomplished it?  By fearing the Lord!

On the other hand, if you are not that crown to your husband, by default you are a rottenness to his bones.  It only takes one rotten apple to eventually spoil the whole basketful.  No, it won’t happen in a day or a week, but it is a steady, sure process.  You are working against God, your husband and yourself, not to mention the effects it iwll have on your children.  The Bible states this simply as “Blaspheming the Word of God.” (Titus 2:5)

If you want to be that virtuous woman, that woman who is a crown of honor to her husband, the whole matter lies in learning to know your Lord Jesus.  Others may be able to do a fairly good job, but this virtuous woman “excellest them all”! (Proverbs 31:29).

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power at worketh in us.”  (Ephesians 3:20) May He receive all the glory forever!

 

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