2009 at 12:15 am | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
A friend of mine from church, SaraJane, sent us this funny story about her son:
getting ready for graduation, and my eldest is looking through photo albums to
choose the special few. She and my youngest were sitting together, when
pictures of their sister as a newborn came up. My youngest said, “EWWWW!
Get those away!” My eldest inquired as to what would make him so upset.
His reply? “I don’t like seeing when their extension cord gets cut
off!” I guess we have too many home improvement projects, and not enough science
– now we have to teach him what an umbilical cord is!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Nicole for the girls
2009 at 4:59 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Homemaking is a career that demands considerable expertise, may
encompass decades of our lives, and has the potential to spread the
gospel to our families, churches, communities, and future generations.
That’s a career worth preparing for, wouldn’t you say?
But how do we learn? Scripture says that the older women should teach
the young women to be effective home managers and to love their
husbands and children (Titus 2:3-5). It’s the mother’s job to teach and
the daughter’s job to learn.
So even though this little series is directed to teenagers, we’re going
to stop and address the moms for a moment. We want to encourage you to
help your daughter make the best use of her teenage years by preparing
to be a homemaker. (But girls, this doesn’t mean you should sit back
and wait to be taught. You need to be asking for homemaking training
from your mom or, if your mom is not a Christian, a godly mentor.)
Moms (and mentors) we must seize every opportunity to prepare our
daughters for their homemaking mission. We should speak often of the
joys of being a wife, mother, and homemaker. We should advice them of
the sacrifices homemaking demands but also of the unsurpassed rewards
We must also be intentional. A good domestic training plan begins with
the heart. As mothers we must shape our daughter’s convictions to
reflect the biblical priority of the home. A steady diet of God’s Word
and other biblically informed materials are indispensable.
An effective training program also equips our daughters to manage all
practical aspects of caring for a home and family. Consider your daily
responsibilities and you’ll easily come up with many skills your
daughter needs to learn.
Think of your daughter as your homemaking intern. She needs both
practical training and instruction.
You can provide hands-on training
by delegating portions of the household responsibilities to her for
short periods of time. You can provide her with practical instruction
by getting books from the library or bookstore on cleaning, cooking
organization, decorating or child-training.
Moms, I hope these brief thoughts will inspire you to begin and persevere in training your daughter to be a homemaker.
Daughters, let me conclude by encouraging you to embrace your mother’s
domestic teaching. Allow her to direct your affections toward home. And
take it one step further. Volunteer to be her homemaking assistant.
This way you’ll receive vital training for your future mission and make
the best use of your time today!
2009 at 3:51 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
What are your dreams and aspirations for your future? How do you answer the well-meaning adults who ask about your plans after high school?
It may surprise you to learn that in the Bible God has already given you a sneak peek into your future. As women, we are all appointed to be keepers of the home (Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Tim. 5:14; Titus 2:5).
Someday you may be called to love a husband and bring up children and make a home for them. Or as a single woman, you may be entrusted with a home from which you extend hospitality and vital service to your church and community.
While you may pursue many other God-honoring tasks or occupations throughout your lifetime, you are also called to be a homemaker.
This is our purpose in life, what John Angell James calls a “woman’s mission,” to “affect society through the medium of family influence.” We as women have a unique task: to change the world by devoting ourselves to home life.
Now this does not mean that the Bible confines girls and women to their homes. The Proverbs 31 woman—the ideal homemaker—pursued endeavors outside of the home for the good of her family. And, of course, single women will have careers that require them to work beyond the home. But Scripture unapologetically sets forth the high priority of the home for each and every woman.
And contrary to popular perception, homemaking is a career that demands considerable expertise. The commands in Scripture to love, follow, and help a husband, to raise children for the glory of God, and to manage a home encompass a vast responsibility. Homemaking requires an extremely diverse array of skills—everything from management abilities to knowledge of health and nutrition, to interior decorating capabilities, to childhood development expertise. If you are to become an effective homemaker, then you must study these subjects and many more.
The time to prepare is now.
Tomorrow we’ll give you some ideas for how to make the best use of this season so you can be ready for your future homemaking task.
2009 at 4:02 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Courtney anticipated our post for today when she wrote to ask:
What do you do when your mother isn’t a Christian and her advice isn’t biblically based?
First of all, do not despair—you have not been left out. God has not overlooked your need for godly wisdom or given you His second best deal. He who knit you together in your mother’s womb has ordained all your days (Ps. 139:13, 16). His work in your life is not limited by the fact that your mother is not a Christian. Your present circumstances contain unique opportunities to glorify God and know Him more.
Here are two ways to take advantage of the special deals you have in front of you:
1. Honor your mother. By obeying her rules (when they are not contrary to Scripture) and treating her with love and respect as your mother, you will show her the power of the gospel at work in your life. And where you can, follow her advice when it is consistent with God’s Word. For example, if she encourages you to work hard in school or be kind to others or keep your room clean, these are all things that can bring glory to God. So do them wholeheartedly! Most of all, pray that God would open her heart to the gospel, and show her the same mercy he has shown to you.
2. Pray for and pursue godly counsel. In Titus 2:3-5 God directs all older women to train the younger women in the qualities of biblical womanhood. And God never issues a command that is not accompanied by the support we need to see it through. You are not hindered from learning how to be a godly woman because you do not have a godly mom. God will supply another woman to teach you. He knows every detail of your situation and nothing will impede his purposes in your life.
So pray right now, and ask Him to provide a mentor. You are simply praying God’s Word back to Him. You are asking for His assistance to obey His Word. Imagine how eager He is to answer this request.
Then go in search of a godly woman to train you in biblical womanhood. This may be your pastor’s wife, or she could possibly recommend someone else. But have confidence—God will surely provide.
2009 at 1:09 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
For a young woman transitioning to adulthood, a wise mother’s influence, guidance, and instruction are special blessings from God she should enthusiastically embrace. Her mother’s teaching is invaluable as she learns to walk in God’s ways.
So girls, how would you describe your attitude toward your mom and her counsel? Does she fulfill the role God intends as the primary influence in your life?
Not sure? Here’s a little quiz to help you figure it out:
—Who is the first person you go to with a problem or a question?
—Whose opinion matters most to you?
—Whose advice do you trust the most?
—Whom do you go to for comfort in difficult times?
—Whom do you look to for guidance when making decisions?
If Mom was not the answer to most or all of these questions, then whoever was is probably the primary influence in your life—whether you’ve realized it or not. And chances are, you’re missing out on the benefits that follow from your mom’s teaching (remember life and peace and success and all that?).
So please don’t wait another moment. Bring Mom into the details your life. Allow her godly counsel to influence how you think and the decisions that you make.
This may be a new idea for you, but start by doing something simple. Begin by talking to your mom. Share with her what you’ve been thinking about lately, and tell her that you desire for her to be your primary mentor.
You may have only a few short years at home with your mom, so grab hold of this deal before it’s too late!
2009 at 4:36 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Of all the God-given opportunities for teenage girls, few are overlooked more than her relationship with her mom. The world peddles friends and mom substitutes as more desirable. Even in the church, many have disregarded the importance of a mother’s role.
But a whole, new exciting world of parent-child relating is to be found in God’s Word. Verse after verse insists that Mom and Dad play an active and primary role in their children’s lives.
Take Proverbs as an example. It fairly explodes with instructions to the son [and daughter] to “Hear…your father’s instruction and forsake not your mother’s teaching” and to “receive [your parent’s] words and treasure…[their] commandments” (Prov. 1:8, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 10, 20, etc.).
“God essentially says this,” explains author Paul Tripp, “‘I have designed the family to be my primary learning community. There is no better context to teach the truths that need to be taught so that my people would live the way they should live.”
God has chosen your mom to be your primary teacher, to be the foremost influence in your life. God has handpicked her to be your mom, and she possesses unique wisdom from God for you.
When you pay close attention to your mom’s teaching, the Bible predicts a splendid outcome: “…for the length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you…you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man” (Prov 3:2, 4).
Following your mother’s teaching will launch you into a lifetime of blessing and honor. What a sweet deal!
2009 at 10:12 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
A couple of funny pics to take you into your weekend.
Janelle for the girls
2009 at 4:18 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
How do we get the fear of the Lord?
The answer is in Psalm 34:11. “Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”
How exciting! God, in His perfect holiness, was once opposed to us because of our sin. But if we have repented and believed in His Son, he has become our heavenly Father. Now he beckons us to come, sit at His feet, and learn to fear Him.
I’ll be honest: gaining the fear of the Lord will not be easy. In fact, if we try to do it on our own, we will certainly fall short. But the good news is that God has promised to teach us.
Learning to fear the Lord begins with prayer. It’s how we respond to God’s invitation to come to Him. “Teach me your way, O Lord,” we must ask, “that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name (Ps. 86:11).
God also teaches us to fear Him through His Word. As one author explains, the Bible is like “a textbook on the fear of the Lord.” If we study it faithfully we will learn to fear God.
If you have a godly mother, God also wants you to learn the fear of the Lord from her. She can help you learn how to apply the fear of the Lord in the every day trials and struggles of teenage life.
The Bible promises that if you make it your life goal to obtain the fear of the Lord, you will find happiness, security, riches, honor and rest (Pr. 28:14, 14:26, 22:4, 19:23). Everything that teenager are longing for is only to be found in fearing God.
Fear the Lord and you will have no fear for your future. For the Lord “will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure” (Isa. 33:6).
We’d love to hear from you…how has God taught you to fear Him?
2009 at 4:33 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Ana sent us an email yesterday:
Hey girltalk ladies!
I am a teenage girl and enjoy your blog so much. It has been helpful to be reminded of what I need to do now. In the blog you mentioned that teenage girls should be planting seeds. Do you have any examples of things that would be planting seeds?
Your eagerness to make the best use of your teen years is commendable, Ana!
To learn what are the most important seeds to plant in the springtime of your life, our first stop is Proverbs—wisdom written especially for young people. It says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). The fear of the Lord is the unique mark of the godly young woman; the most important quality for her to pursue.
What is the fear of the Lord? you may ask. “It’s better described than defined” says author Jerry Bridges. So let me tell you about the girl who fears the Lord:
She’s the girl who knows her God:
She experiences a profound sense of awe at the thought of God, the creator of the universe who is “sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up” (Isa. 6:1).
She trembles with dread and wonder before the perfect, pure, and holy Lord of all “who will by no means clear the guilty (Ex. 34:7).
She marvels at the undeserving love and mercy of Jesus Christ who “is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression” (Num. 14:18).
She delights in the perfect wisdom of God, the beauty and order of His universe, the unfathomable perfection of His plan of salvation, and His loving supervision of every detail of her life.
Her awe of God results in obedience to Him:
She seeks the Lord and delights in God’s Word (Ps. 1:2).
She hates evil. She doesn’t’ admire those who love it (Prov. 8:13). That’s why she doesn’t flirt with a guy or lie to her parents or cheat on a test or gossip about others or worry about what people think about her.
She confesses her sin, serves in secret, cultivates inner beauty, humbly embraces God’s plan for her life, and trusts Him no matter what.
You recognize her because:
She is full of joy, peace, and hope for the future (Prov 10:27).
She has a strong confidence (Prov. 14:26), rest and satisfaction (Prov. 19:23), and contentment in God’s care and provision (Ps. 34:9).
She’s the one to whom God and man give praise (Prov. 31:30-31).
Now this is a good deal! How do we get the fear of the Lord? Some thoughts tomorrow.
2009 at 4:33 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Teenage girls, you have a precious opportunity—one that many women wish they could have back again. You have it for a short time before it will be lost forever. You have the chance, as a young woman, to invest today in godly character and to collect the benefits for the rest of your life.
Today’s choices will influence the direction of your entire life. So now is the time to seek with all your heart the best deals of the season.
“Remember, my young female friends” urged author John Angell James, “that the seeds of woman’s life-long excellences must be sown in the springtime of existence; and it must be done in part by her own hand, when aided and taught by others to prepare the soil. The flowers of womanly excellence, which she would wish to grow in her future character, must be previously and carefully selected…even while she is yet in youth.”
You can squander your youth trying to be the most popular girl in school—which probably won’t happen, and even if it does, won’t mean anything the day after you graduate. You can devote yourself to personal pleasures or selfish ambitions. You might even be content to do as little as possible and thus gain even less.
Or, you can choose to live now for what counts for tomorrow and all eternity.
It’s the springtime of your life, girls. What seeds are you sowing in this season of youth?
2009 at 11:09 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
On this historic occasion, Dr. Albert Mohler provides an exemplary prayer on behalf of Barack Obama. He concludes with these thoughts:
“Christians are, first of all, citizens of a heavenly kingdom. The followers of Christ know no allegiance of ultimate rank to any government or earthly authority. Yet, the Bible clearly teaches that God has given us the gifts of law, government, and ruling authorities for our good. We are instructed to pray for “rulers and all who have authority” and to be faithful in praying “so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God” [1 Timothy 2:2].
As Barack Obama prepares to take the oath of office and become the 44th President of the United States, Christians should be thinking about how to pray for the new President. I offer this prayer as a place to start, as we observe the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States together.”
Read Dr. Mohler’s prayer here.
2009 at 2:49 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Biblical Womanhood Living Intentionally
If it’s true that our lives are made up of God-ordained seasons, and that each season holds out many opportunities—or to use our shopping analogy, bargains—but that only some are really worth buying, how do we know which to grab and which to pass up?
“The way we should go and the thing we should do” (Jer 42:3) is found only by prayerful study of God’s Word. In Scripture alone are the signs marking the true bargains for each season of our lives.
So what are they? What are the best deals for teenage girls, single women, moms with young kids, the empty nester?
Over the next few weeks we’ll consider this question, beginning with teenage girls (and their moms). We’ll study Scripture to learn how to “walk carefully” and “make the best use of [our time]” in each of these seasons.
Along the way we want to hear from you: How have you learned to buy up these deals in this season of your life? Or, to put it more plainly, how have you made these God-ordained opportunities the top priorities in your life?
Shop-talk for teenagers starts tomorrow.
2009 at 7:57 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
Thanks to Victoria for sending us this picture. Now I just need to find out how to get my hands on one of these!
Carolyn for Nicole, Kristin and Janelle
2009 at 4:15 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Living Intentionally
Scripture provides ample evidence that God sets the boundaries for each season. God determines when one closes and a new one begins. He is in complete charge and sovereignly rules over every season of our lives. And his purpose for our lives in each season ultimately cannot be frustrated.
Proverbs 16:9 declares, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
Nebuchadnezzar said about God, “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4;35).
The prophet Jeremiah professed, “ I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23).
All too often, we arrogantly think we are in charge. We imagine that we’re planning and deciding our life’s course. Who are we kidding? We need to humble ourselves and acknowledge, “God you are in charge. And I humbly accept your plan for the changing seasons of my life.”
We can trust this God who is in charge because we know his purposes are always directed for his glory and our good (Rom 8:28). As author Elisabeth Elliot insists, “Everything that happens to you has come through the hedge of His love.”
What comfort and rest this brings to our hearts!
As we seek to make the best use of time in every season, we can be confident that God’s divine wisdom and perfect love direct his purposes in our lives.
But maybe you’re still wondering: what does it look like to make the best use of time in my season?
Next week we’ll suggest some of the best bargains to be found in the different seasons of our lives.
We hope you’ll find a few deals that are too good to pass up!
(This week’s series was adapted from our book, Shopping for Time)
2009 at 4:32 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Living Intentionally
Think back five years ago. Was your life different from the way it is now?
Maybe you weren’t even a Christian at that time. Perhaps you have since gotten married or graduated or changed jobs or moved to a new place or had a baby (or two or more!). You may have experienced a life-altering tragedy or a surprising success.
Even if you don’t feel as if your life is dramatically different, change has occurred, however imperceptibly. You’ve probably walked through relational changes, experienced physical changes, learned new skills, or developed new interests.
Most significantly, if you are a believer, Christ has been conforming you to his image. Undoubtedly your life is different from the way it was five years ago. And the same will be true five years from now.
That’s because our lives are made up of changing seasons.
It tells us so in Ecclesiastes: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (3:1). This passage goes on to list fourteen couplets that cover the range of human activity.
Our lives are never static or stationary. New seasons keep rolling in—each with its own unique joys and challenges. In fact, just about the time we adjust to our present season, it’s time to make way for a new one!
A woman may pass through many seasons in her lifetime. Here are a few:
Mothering preschool children
Mothering school-aged children
Mothering teenaged children
Caregiving to elderly parents
This is not an exhaustive list. There may be additional seasons you will experience and ones you will never pass through. For example, certain women may remain single throughout there lifetime, and not every woman will experience widowhood.
But we must understand the reality of our changing seasons if we want to “look carefully how we walk” and “make the best use of our time.” For the best deals vary from season to season. Last year’s bargain might be this year’s foolish purchase.
So, we must walk through each season with open eyes in order to make the best choices.
But our comfort is this: God orders the seasons of our lives.
Tomorrow we’ll consider this truth.