Filed under Biblical Womanhood 52home
As someone who has always signed her emails “In Christ, Nicole” I thought this post by Stephen Altrogge was hilarious. See y’all Monday! Nicole for my mom and sisters
(While we wait for the phone to ring, I thought I’d tell you how we got here.)
“Having babies—it’s just not Nicole’s gift.” That was our family friend, Kimm Harvey’s opinion, delivered affectionately in her unmistakable Philly accent. She and my mom were talking after my second difficult delivery, which wasn’t as bad as the first one, but still, um, well, memorable. Let’s leave it at that.
Another dear friend told his wife that he would personally contribute to our adoption fund if only I would agree to not have any more children. (I think I need to let him know I’m ready to take him up on his offer.)
When Steve and I visited a specialist about a year after Tori’s birth to discuss the possibility of me having more children, the first words out of his mouth were, “Have you considered a surrogate mother?” Uh, no. Definitely not.
“You won’t die from childbirth” the doctor told us, but “you’‘ll have to be prepared for things to be a little crazy at the end.”
After lots of praying and counsel-seeking, we thought we were prepared. We decided to go ahead and try for another child. Maybe we were crazy.
We don’t have a conviction from Scripture about how many children a couple should have, but we do have a conviction that God loves families and works through families to build his church. And out of that conviction, and our own experience in wonderful, gospel-loving families, our desire for more children remained strong.
But months went by and I didn’t get pregnant.
So about a year ago, I asked Steve if we could rethink and pray over our decision again. He was more than willing, always being more anxious about my health than I was.
It was a difficult decision. There is no chapter and verse in the Bible that tells you how many children to have; it’s a wisdom issue. And boy did we need God’s wisdom! In the end, it came down to the question: “How can I best serve God’s kingdom?” And for me, the answer was to care first for my existing family by not putting my short or long-term health at risk.
But our desire for children remained strong, so we began to talk about adoption.
To be continued….
“As women, clothing and appearance are some of the most powerful and important means we have of sending a message about our hearts and our values. So here’s the question. What do your clothes and your appearance communicate about you? What message are you sending? Unfortunately, this issue represents an area where too many Christian women have accepted the secular world’s way of thinking, with the rationalization that ‘Maybe it’s okay so long as we just don’t go to the farthest extremes.’ That’s why we have to go back to the Word of God and ask, ‘What is God’s way of thinking about all this? What message should we be sending? And how can we send that message with our clothing and with our outer appearance?’” Nancy Leigh DeMoss
For more on modesty from Nancy check out:
Caution! Your Clothes are Talking
Philosophies of Beauty in Conflict
HT: Tony Reinke
A retweet of sorts. Last week John Piper tweeted “Teaching your eight-year-old daughter how to dress is not legalism. Modesty inbred preempts legalism.” He also linked to a provocative CNN.com article by a dad who challenges parents to take responsibility for the way their little girls dress.
To help you (and your daughters) preempt legalism and cultivate biblical convictions about modesty, we wrote a series a few years ago called Fashion and Following the Savior. We wanted to show that modesty isn’t an out-of-fashion, man-made rule but an essential quality for all women for all time who “profess godliness” (1 Tim 2:9-10).
And even if you think you’ve heard it all before, the virtue of modesty needs repeating, reminding, retweeting. For we so easily forget the loveliness of a modest heart and the refreshing beauty of modest dress.
“Easter is over” writes Stephen Nichols, but “Being faithful in the routines, on the Mondays after the Sundays, is important. It is as inversely important as it seems unglamorous.”
Never is it harder to be faithful in the ordinary than on the days following a holiday or special event. That’s why there’s no more important time to remind ourselves why we do what we do.
For a fresh reminder, I’d encourage you to read Stephen Nichols’ entire post as well as one by Nancy Wilson along the same lines. We’ve linked to these before, but they’re worth a yearly re-read.
In “Abounding Works” Nancy rejoices that “The good news continues to be good news from one morning to the next. So, even though I’m mopping up from the feasting, the rejoicing extends from one Sunday to the next, all year long.”
Let the joy of Easter Sunday break into your unglamorous Monday. Allow Christ’s death and resurrection to fill you with transcendent joy on this ordinary day.
Resurrection Sunday is another great opportunity to impress the truth of the gospel on our children. Here’s a few ideas (some old, some new) for helping children enter into the joy of this special day:
~Read Scripture and good books to cultivate personal joy in the resurrection and that will overflow to your children. Nancy Guthrie’s Keep Me Near the Cross is one I try to pick up every year. For kids, Paul Maier’s The Very First Easter is a great resource.
~For the past few weeks my husband Steve has been taking our son Jack through a little booklet called Easter Unscrambled: A 3-week adventure to discover the real meaning of Easter. It has puzzles, secret codes, and best of all, a wonderfully clear gospel presentation. I know it’s a little late for this Easter, but I highly recommend you check it out next year.
~The folks from St. Helens Bishopsgate in the UK who brought us “That’s Christmas” have two new videos “That’s Easter: Death to Life” and “That’s Easter: Life to Death.” Great for watching and talking about with older kids.
~We like using the Resurrection Eggs from Family Life Ministries, or you could make your own. Each of the twelve plastic eggs contains an object (you could use Scripture references instead), and together they tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Of course the kids love the jelly beans we add as well!
~A few years ago, our friend Rebecca Wilson shared with us one of her Easter traditions with her daughters—Resurrection Cookies. “Not only do they help us remember what we are celebrating,” she writes, “but we find them yummy and pretty heart healthy too.” We’ve included the recipe below.
May your family Easter celebration be full of joy!
1 cup pecans (halves or whole)
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vinegar
pinch of salt
Tape (Packing tape works best)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pecans in Ziploc bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon until broken into small pieces. Read John 19:1-3 and remind them that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
2. Let each child smell (or taste) the vinegar. Pour 1 tsp into the mixing bowl. Read John 19:28-30 and explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.
3. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Read John 10:10-11 Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it, then brush it into the bowl. Read Luke 23:27. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed Jesus’ followers as well as the bitterness of our own sin.
5. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because of His great love for us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
6. Beat with mixer on high for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3. Explain that the color white represents the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
7. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper (or parchment). Read Matt. 27:57-60. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
8. Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven. Close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape to seal the oven door. Read Matt 27:65-66. Explained that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.
9. Go to bed. Read John 16:20 and 22. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were very sad when the tomb was sealed.
10. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are empty!! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt 28:1-9. HE HAS RISEN!!!
One way we can misapply submission is by waiting on our husband to lead before pursuing spiritual growth.
Hopefully our husband does encourage us to pursue a deeper knowledge of God, but we are not dependent on our husband to grow spiritually. We are accountable before God to seek His face and obey His Word. Remember, when it comes to the grace of life, we are heirs with—and not under—our husband (1 Pet. 3:7).
In order to be a gospel wife, we must be rooted in God’s Word.
This means we must be avid students of Scripture, regardless of our husband’s spiritual pursuit. We should daily dig into the Bible, regularly read good books, and eagerly absorb and apply our pastor’s teaching. We shouldn’t assume that deep theological study is only for the men. Neither should we try to hide our own lack of spiritual growth behind our husband’s lack of leadership.
And here’s a self check: If we are truly growing spiritually, our lives will be characterized by humility toward our husband—not self-righteousness or superiority. True knowledge leads to love, not bitterness over our husband’s lack of growth or impatience with his slow growth. Proud “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).
Consider how you can encourage your husband to grow in his knowledge of the Word—whether he is lagging behind or way out in front. Inspire him by your example, graciously sharpen him with your questions, and above all, encourage Him for the many evidences of God’s grace you see in his life.