For our children
This workbook is dedicated to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for being so faithful to your promises, especially Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
To my first daughter, Tyler, when God blessed me with you, I began my journey to seek to be a godly mother, hoping that I would be a proper example for you to follow. Also, to my daughters, Tara and Macy, may you seek a “gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
To my four sons, Dallas, Axel, Easton and Cooper, may you each cherish the woman whom you marry, “for he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Search for her as you would search for a precious gemstone, “for her worth is far above rubies”! I know I will love each of my future daughters as much as I love each of you.
Chapters 12 and 15 are dedicated to my mother, Grace McGovern, who went to be with the Lord on April 10, 2000. Her example of cherishing each of her seven children as “a special blessing from the Lord” encouraged me to desire children and to trust the Lord with my fertility. It was her love of motherhood that inspired me to love my children. My mother was right – “love never fails”!
To the many ladies who came through Restore Ministries and helped with the revising, editing, and proofreading of this workbook, especially my mother. Thank you all! You were an answer to our prayers.
And finally to my husband for returning home and becoming the spiritual leader of our home and ministry. I love you more every day.
The book that you hold in your hands is not meant to be read and put aside. It is my hope and prayer that it will give you the knowledge you need to prevent you from ever having to face infidelity or divorce. For those who have gotten this workbook because of my recommendation in How God Can and Will Restore Your Marriage: A Book for Women from Someone Who’s Been There, I am certain that God sees your heart and is at this moment “strongly supporting” you.
It is time for all women (and men) to realize that all marriages are on sinking sand, unless they are grounded firmly on the Rock of God’s Word.
As you read each chapter, you will see clearly that your dependency must be on the Lord. Scripture is all that you need to renew your mind to God’s way of thinking and you must throw out other opinions from the world. Then it is your task to rebuild your home upon the Rock by being a doer of the Word, not a hearer only.
Before rebuilding, you must have good blueprints. Your blueprints must be His Word, which you will find in the following pages. Next, you must find the Cornerstone that everything will be built around. Our Cornerstone is taking Jesus as your Lord, not just your Savior. We will cover this in lesson two.
With a renewed mind and the Lord’s blueprint, you will then be able to rebuild your home instead of foolishly building it on sinking sand. Those of you who are sitting amidst rubble because your house has fallen (through infidelity or divorce) really have the advantage. You are motivated to begin to rebuild now since basically you have nowhere to live. This is where I was when I first began writing the workbook for women. It was painful for me, but it was worth every tear I ever cried!
Those of you who are living in a home which only creaks a little or maybe shifts when the weather changes are comfortable, but God is trying to get your attention or you would not be holding this manual in your hands. Remember, Jesus said when the rains come, not if they come. And, He is very clear that all those whose houses are not built on the Rock will fall, and great will be their fall! Your rains and winds may come in the form of your husband being unfaithful, a sickness or death in your family, or financial troubles. Nevertheless, God is faithful; He will use whatever He knows will get your attention.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6. I guarantee that all of us will have trials and tribulations in our lives; therefore, let’s build our homes firmly on the Rock of Jesus Christ and His Word!
Table of Contents
- On the Rock.
- Your First Love
- A Gentle and Quiet Spirit
- Kindness Is on Her Tongue
- Won Without a Word
- A Contentious Woman
- Chaste and Respectful
- Wives, Be Subject
- Helper Suitable
- Various Trials
- I Hate Divorce
- The Fruit of the Womb
- The Ministry of Reconciliation
- The Ways of Her Household
- Your Mother’s Teachings
- Opening the Windows of Heaven
- Women, Encourage the Younger Women
“For My People Perish for a Lack of Knowledge”
Chapter 1 “On the Rock"
“Therefore everyone who hears these Words of Mine, and acts upon them,
may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock.
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew,
and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall,
for it had been founded upon the rock.”
Is your house built upon the rock? Are you sure? For God’s Word says that the rains are going to come. They may be in the form of a financial crisis, the death of a loved one, unfaithfulness, health problems or a prodigal child. Will your marriage stand? Great is the fall of most marriages – will yours be next? Or, perhaps it has already fallen. Ladies, it is time for all of us to rebuild our homes firmly on the Rock of Jesus Christ – His Word.
We women go to multiple Bible studies and then to a multitude of seminars. We tirelessly saturate ourselves with the Word, yet our homes are out of order and crumbling. Most of our husbands are so preoccupied with hobbies, sports and their jobs that they spend little or no time studying God's Word. Have you ever wondered if your marriage would end in divorce? Well, God’s Word says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1Cor. 10:12.
The ways of the world, which have penetrated the church and her teachings, will only guarantee the sinking of our hopes and plans for our families. Do you really know what God’s Word says to you as a woman, wife and mother? Have you read God’s blueprints and modeled your home after them? Here are a few of the questions that will be answered by Scripture in the following lessons:
Is there anything wrong with divorce, especially in certain circumstances? Why does marriage counseling usually result in divorce? Why do many women display the attitude and characteristics of an ideal wife toward their employers but not their husbands? If you put your husband first in your life, what will happen to your marriage?
What danger is present when a wife fulfills all of her own needs and her husband fulfills his own needs? Should your pastor be your spiritual leader? Why are insults and evils brought into our lives, and how does this relate to God's blessings? When you put someone or something ahead of the Lord, what will God do to draw you back to Him? Some preachers tell us that we are commanded to be angry; is this true?
Sound doctrine? We as Christians enjoy the messages from the pulpit or Christian radio that fire us up for the Lord, but what about those messages that bring about conviction? Do you run from the Truth? A lot of our preachers and speakers today feel they need to draw large crowds for financial reasons. It seems that when preachers tell their congregation or listeners what they want to hear, it brings in the largest offerings for their ministries. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the Truth, and will turn aside to myths.” 2Tim. 4:3-4.
Ravenous wolves. Jesus warned us of spiritual leaders who would try to deceive us. “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits….” Matt. 7:15-16. We can see the financial fruits of many ministries, yet most of their followers are perishing for a lack of knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge….” Hosea 4:6. When you listen to the most popular Christian speakers, are you sure their information is based on Scripture, or is it based on psychology and the ideas of man? Do you even know the difference? “ ‘The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My Word speak My Word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?’ ” declares the LORD.” Jer. 23:28. Are you able to discern grain from straw?
Finds wisdom. “My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, or loathe His reproof; for whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father, the son in whom he delights. How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold.” Prov. 3:11-14. If you heard a strong message entitled “Submission,” or “The Contentious Woman,” or “Winning Your Husband WITHOUT A WORD,” would you embrace it enthusiastically or run away from the conviction?
His purpose. Do you know the difference between condemnation and conviction? Satan brings condemnation to us - thoughts that make us feel hopeless. The Lord convicts us in our spirit in order to show us the things in our life that need changing. All guilt is not bad. On the contrary, we should feel guilty when we sin. If a person feels no guilt or remorse for his sin, why would he want to repent? Even the hopelessness that condemnation brings can be used for good if we turn to God for our hope. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28. Did you know that many times, God brings adversity into our lives to strengthen our relationship with Him? It was God who brought the many trials into Jonah’s life to bring about obedience, and it was the Lord who blinded Saul in order to change him into the godly Paul. Does it really matter where the adversity is coming from as long as we allow each of these tribulations to mold us more into the Lord’s image?
My ways, my thoughts. What is written in the following lessons may seem foreign to you. Many of these truths are rarely, if ever, preached from the pulpit, discussed on Christian radio or written about in Christian books. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isa. 55:9. These teachings are found easily in Scripture, but are often overlooked, watered down, or taken out of context to justify an opposing view or even to justify sin. “Every Word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His Words, lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar.” Prov. 30:5-6.
A broken and a contrite heart. Is your heart broken and contrite? It must be to receive the Truth. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:17. This is the fertile ground which the Lord says will produce much fruit. “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the Word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the Word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the Word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matt. 13:18-23.
Did not hear it. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it; and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matt. 13:16-17. You will need an “ear to hear,” which means listening and desiring to gain the complete wisdom that the Bible has to offer.
Meditates day and night. You will need to renew your mind, to line it up with what God says about everything. Most rely on what is popular according to the world’s standards or follow the so-called “experts” in the field. Let’s never forget that God is our Creator. Does He not know how to deal with every circumstance or relationship He created? “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Ps. 1:2-3.
Thy Word is Truth. Satan will try to tempt you into rejecting what is written in this workbook. He may try to cause division by getting you to think or say that you do not agree with the author. First, it doesn’t matter what this author is writing or saying. What matters is what God says, since He is the Author and Creator of life. Secondly, we must remember that Satan will try to discourage you; division is one of his favorite tactics. If you don't believe what is written in these lessons, you have three choices: 1) You could talk to someone you know will agree with you. 2) You could just take what you want and pass over the rest like a buffet. Or 3) you could search the Truth. “Sanctify them in the Truth; Thy Word is Truth.” John 17:17. Please choose to search for Truth. The Truth is nothing to fear; instead, it will set you free. “If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. Again, if you question any of this material I urge you to seek the Word to find the Truth.
Seek and you shall find. “But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you.” Luke 12:31. “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Luke 11:9. Use your concordance; allow the Lord to guide you into all Truth. Memorize a verse and ruminate on it over and over in your mind. Then one day it will be as if the light is turned on in a dark room; you will know the Truth! Is it worth the effort? Do you have time? “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.” Ps. 90:12. If we seek Him first, He promises that everything else will be given to us.
Hunger and thirst. If we are believers, if we are Christians, then our purpose on earth is to glorify God in all that we do. Isn't that what Jesus did with His life? And, if we call ourselves Christians, we are supposed to be followers of Christ. But are we? How do we follow Christ? Maybe you've tried to follow Christ many times before, but you stumbled and were unable to go on. If you can open your heart to God and continue to read the Scriptures that are found in the following lessons, His Word will cause you to hunger and thirst for Him and His Truths. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matt. 5:6. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.” Ps. 42:1. What a wonderful way to feel about the Lord and His Word!
His Word. God's Holy Scriptures will be the most important Words on the following pages; please do not skip them. His Word heals. “He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” Ps. 107:20. His Word is the light that will illuminate the darkness. “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Ps. 119:105. His Word is Truth. “The sum of Thy Word is Truth, and every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting.” Ps. 119:160.
Just do it! Once you begin to understand and accept God's Truths, you must then become a doer of the Word. “For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” James 1:23-24. You must put action behind what you have learned, or there will never be any change in your life!
Zealous for what is good? Let this thought be prevalent in your mind: the teachings in this workbook have been written by a zealot (a fanatic). I got that way when I was backed into a corner in my life. I got that way when I was sinking and looking for something or Someone to save me. “But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ ” Matt. 14:30. I got that way when I saw a real void in my life which made my heart and my gut ache because I desperately needed that void filled. If this is where you are in your life, then you, too, will become a zealot. Obey zealously - enthusiastically!
Zealous teachings need zealous obedience. “And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?” 1Pet. 3:13. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev. 3:19. Jesus called for that kind of zealous obedience in his teaching while He walked on earth. “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell.” Matt. 18:8. I’d say these are very zealous instructions from our Lord.
Come, follow Me. “And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But at these words his face fell, and he went away grieved, for he was one who owned much property. And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!’ ” Mark 10:21-23. Are we like the rich man, unwilling to follow Jesus? How many times has He called you, but you were all tied up with the things of this world so you chose not to follow Him? Don’t miss it now; He is calling your name.
Lay aside every encumbrance. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us….” Hebr. 12:1. “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Rom. 13:12. “… in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit….” Eph. 4:22. You must immediately make changes in your life and commit yourself to following Jesus Christ. When will be the next time He calls you? Could this be your last opportunity? Now ponder this sobering verse: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14. Make every moment, every day, count.
Lukewarm. For those of you who say you have a happy home, this workbook may be too zealous since there is nothing motivating you to change. “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Rev. 3:15-16. God despises the lukewarm Christian. Are you on fire for Him? What does He need to do in your life to move you toward Him and His Word? I know what it took for me!
Poor in spirit. Those who are poor have nothing; therefore, it is easier for them to leave everything to follow Him and His Word. “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor.” Luke 4:18. Are you spiritually bankrupt? “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:3. If you were financially bankrupt, you'd certainly be diligently praying for your husband to find a job or a better job so you could pay your bills and your family would be fed, but what about the spiritual food that you need to share with your children?
Built his house upon the sand. Let’s face it, many of us have built our house on the sinking sand of the world's values. We seek after everything our Lord Jesus Christ lived and preached against! You know it's only a matter of time before your house of cards falls. We've seen the signs; we've seen other Christian marriages fall. What makes you think yours will stand? The women who find and read this manual whose houses have already fallen, “and great was its fall,” really have the advantage. Since they have nowhere to live, they pick up the pieces of rubble and begin rebuilding. They have no choice to make; God made it for them. “And everyone who hears these Words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.” Matt. 7:26-27. Begin to rebuild your house, step by step, board by board, upon the rock of Jesus Christ. Use His Word alone as your blueprints. Let this workbook motivate you and help illuminate those areas that pertain to the circumstances and situations of your life.
Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord. “And he spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men…'What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble, even the burned ones?… Even what they are building —if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!’ ” Neh. 4:2. Expect ridicule and mocking as you begin to rebuild your house. Read the entire fourth chapter of Nehemiah for motivation and preparation.
Highlight in your Bible the passages that explain what they did to overcome those who tried to stop them. First, they prayed when others began to ridicule them and God gave them direction along with “a mind to work.” Next, they set up a defense, day and night. They were also aware of their weak points and set up extra defense in those positions. (Sounds a bit like war, doesn't it? For more on the spiritual warfare that you are facing daily, see lesson 5, “Won Without a Word,” for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge….” Hosea 4:6.)
The leaders also had to fight against the fear of those they were leading. You will need to be spiritually strong to encourage your children when they begin to fear. “When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: 'Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.' ” Neh. 4:14. Ultimately, the enemy saw that it was God who fought on Israel's side. Our enemy the devil, or those who are working for the devil, will also see the Lord if our “struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph. 6:12.
Counsel you with My eye. Will you continue through the following lessons with the zealous commitment needed? We are not able to make the changes ourselves. We are sinners; our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags. When we allow God to work in us and through us, He will begin to make the changes from within us. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you.” Ps. 32:8-9.
According to His purpose. The Lord comes to us at the exact time of our need. He allows us to come to the turning points in our lives (through various trials) to learn dependence upon Him. It’s during the times of distress that we seek Him, and then He lets us find Him. It’s only during brokenness that real lifelong changes are made. We can praise Him in all things because we have the assurance “that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28. We can see from this passage that our goal must be according to His purpose. What then is His purpose for our lives? Most of us are familiar with Rom. 8:28, but to really understand His purpose we must continue reading. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Rom. 8:29-31.
Do your deeds deny Him? Do you truly love Him enough to obey Him, even as a zealot? Are we more concerned with our purpose or His purpose in each situation in our lives? Where is your heart? Many times when a trial comes into our lives, we obey in order to comfort or protect ourselves from whatever is hurting us. But if the trial or suffering continues, we begin to see the need for a more permanent change. We develop an insight, which reveals the reason(s) why God has allowed the trial. Possibly, it is for our salvation or the salvation of a loved one; but, certainly, the trial is for our sanctification so our deeds will stop denying Him. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.” Titus 1:16.
My heart of stone. As we look forward to the day of our glorification, God encourages us to be specific in our prayer lives. He wants us to get to the point of truly crying out to Him. When will you come to this point? Will you cry out in a time of frustration or must you get to the point of losing a loved one through death? Maybe it is merely the threat of losing the loved one that will bring you to that point. Possibly, the destruction of your marriage will make you cry out to God. We must ask ourselves, how hard is my heart? “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezek. 36:26. Are you willing to ask God for this heart change, “whatever it takes”? The Lord said that if you will only ask, you will receive. “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Matt. 7:7.
Hardens his neck. If we are truly Christians, followers of Christ, then we yearn to be closer to Him. Do you yearn for Him? Or do you, instead, surround yourself with things that deaden that desire? If so, you are not a Christian on fire for God, but a backslider. “The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways….” Prov. 14:14. Have you had your fill or must you be broken? “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” Prov. 29:1.
Broken and contrite heart. You may tell yourself that you do so much for the Lord. You spend so much time in the church nursery or heading up various committees. You think this is real sacrifice and this proves that you are in right standing with God. “For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it… The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:16.
Sorrowful to the point of repentance. In order to repent and turn away from the lukewarm life we have lived, we must be sorry. “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, in order that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2Cor. 7:9-10.
Destroying speculations and every lofty thing. What is separating you from the knowledge of God? What keeps you from reading His Word daily? If God is not first in your life, what is? Your family? Your job? Crafts? Television and entertainment? What keeps you so busy each day preventing you from even giving God a second thought? “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” 2Cor. 10:5-6.
Confess your sins to one another. Those who have allowed themselves to become convicted are ready to bring change into their lives. If you are ready, begin by confession. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16. If you are not broken, you will probably put these pages down now or continue to read them just to prove to yourself that you are the good Christian you claim to be. Unfortunately, we both know it will never change your life and penetrate your heart. It will merely run down your back like water down the back of a duck.
Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal. These pages have been written by one who was broken. God often uses people in our lives to break us. It may be just an annoyance at first; then, it escalates into complete frustration. Do we turn to Him at that point or do we instead harden our hearts or our necks? God is trying to change us, to mold us. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.” 1Pet. 4:12.
Usually we don't like the situation or the person who is bringing the trials into our lives because we can't see that God is behind it. We become bitter and angry with the person or circumstances He uses. We try to break this relationship, only to find it follows us. Dear believer, it is the Lord who is trying to turn us, gently at first, but then a little more firmly. (See lesson 10, “Various Trials,” for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you….” Hosea 4:6.)
Removed lover and friend. God often must remove a friend or loved one in order to place Himself first in our lives. We may be in a cold marriage or even separated or divorced. Our children, or our parents, may not be speaking to us. Possibly our brothers or our sisters may not be communicating with us either. “Thou hast removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness.” Ps. 88:18. “Thou hast put me in the lowest pit, In dark places, in the depths. Thy wrath has rested upon me, and Thou hast afflicted me with all Thy waves. *Selah. Thou hast removed my acquaintances far from me; Thou hast made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.” Ps. 88:6-8.
*Selah is found often in the book of Psalms to ask the reader to ponder and think over what has just been read. Obey this by pondering what has been written by the Psalmist. Reread it if you need to. What's your hurry?
They shall see God. How can I see the Lord? First, you must have a born-again experience; then, He will begin internal purification. If we do not understand God’s ways, we will become discouraged and many doubts will creep into our minds. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matt. 5:8. God wants to be first in our lives. (See the next lesson, “Your First Love,” for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge….” Hosea 4:6.) He wants our lives to reflect Jesus Christ.
They were radiant. Do you want to reflect the love and radiance of the Lord? Right now, my sister in Christ, is your chance; don't blow it. Don't turn; do it now. Turn to Him and to Him alone. Do it right now! “They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces shall never be ashamed.” Ps. 34:5. Have you checked your countenance lately? Has it fallen? “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and it's desire is for you, but you must master it.’ ” Gen. 4:6. How are you doing? If you are not doing well then God says, “sin is crouching at the door.” Perhaps, you’ve already let sin in.
Pray now. “Whatever it takes to soften my heart to these lessons, Lord do it…”
Hearer of the Word and not a doer. “For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1:23-24.
Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned. In order to rebuild upon the Rock, we need to acknowledge our sinfulness before God. Unless we understand that we are sinners, we cannot take another step. As you read this lesson, were you made aware of your sin or did you make excuses or blame others? My beloved, if you are imitating the world by rationalizing your sins and making excuses while at the same time quickly pointing out to others (especially your husband) their sin and shortcomings, you most certainly are headed for spiritual death. Instead of looking at others who have fallen in certain areas, take a hard look at yourself.
If you are under strong conviction, please stop now, get on your knees, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you and convict you of your sinfulness before God. Ask Him to reveal your offenses and whom you have offended. Begin by praying this prayer:
“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, So that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.”
“Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; then my tongue will joyfully sing of Thy righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Thy praise. For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:1-17.
Confess your sins. Once we confess our sins before God, then we may need to admit we have fallen short and confess our faults to one another. Again, if your conscience is seared, you will minimize your sin, and you will never have victory over it in your life! “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16.
His Word healed them. It is God's Word that will change and heal us. “He sent His Word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” Ps. 107:20. We must begin to renew our minds. Using 3x5 cards, write down the verses from this lesson that have brought about the greatest conviction in your heart. Then, do the same with each of the following lessons. Keep these cards in your purse and bring them out regularly as the Holy Spirit prompts you. If you are not being prompted, pray that you will be.
With God. We must not operate in the flesh. We must work “with God,” move in His direction, and use His Spirit to do what we ought. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt. 19:26. “Looking upon them, Jesus said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’ ” Mark 10:27. “But He said, ‘The things impossible with men are possible with God.’ ” Luke 18:27. Any other plan will eventually wear us out and cause us to give up. “For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Gal. 6:8. Operating in the flesh will only bring about a temporary external change versus a permanent internal change. “… for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are NOT seen are eternal.” 2Cor. 4:18.
A righteous man falls. Be aware that stumbling and failure will come, but you must get back up. “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again….” Prov. 24:16. Everyone will fall, but what you do when you fall divides the righteous from the unrighteous! The entire tenth lesson of this book is dedicated to making us keenly aware of the trials of Christian life. But for now, let us be aware that we may be held with the cords of our sin until we hate it so much that we will cry out to God continually to be forever delivered from these temptations. “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.” Prov. 5:22. Again, we must work “with God,” knowing full well that He knows best. “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker — An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ ” Isa. 45:9.
Boast about my weaknesses. And finally, once we “through Christ” have gained the sweet victory, we must share our testimonies with all those whom He brings into our lives. Some find it easy to share Jesus Christ as their savior with every person they meet. If you are on fire like that for the Lord, praise God! Others fail to share their salvation with anyone; it is their little secret with the Lord. Without a doubt, God will bring women into your life who will open a door for you to share what Christ has done for you. “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence….” 1Pet. 3:15. Will you open your mouth? “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.” Ps. 32:1,3. Let us retrain our lips to share God's power over sin by humbling ourselves and boasting about our weaknesses. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2Cor. 12:9.
Let the Power of Christ Dwell in Me…Amen and Amen!
Personal commitment: to begin to build or rebuild my home on the Rock. “Based on what I have learned from God's Word, I commit to confess my lukewarmness toward Christ and to take the proper steps to renew my mind. I commit to allow the Lord to work through me so that I may gain the sweet victory over my sinful life. I also commit to give God the praise and honor He deserves by sharing my testimony with others.”
Warning: The material that you have just read and will be reading is not to be discussed with your husband. This is not just a suggestion, but rather a requirement. Many destructive results have occurred to marriages and/or to the women who have unknowingly or willfully shared and discussed the information learned.
Some women have used the passages against their own husbands to beat them over the head with “you should…!” Others who had a pure heart have shared what they have learned in humility and their husbands inadvertently used it against them to beat them down.
Therefore, it is imperative that I ask you, as a sister in Christ, to sign this commitment before continuing with this material since our husbands are to “be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe (our) chaste and respectful behavior.” 1Pet. 3:2.
If you are wondering how you can possibly resist the temptation to tell your husband, let me give you the escape. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” 1Cor. 10:13.
Share this material, each concept and each lesson, with as many women, younger or older, as you can find until you have gotten it all out of your system. As you begin to live these lessons in your home “without a word,” your husband will quite possibly ask you what has caused you to change. At that point, you may tell him briefly, “I have been reading a workbook for women; there is also a men’s manual. If you are interested, I could get you one” end of conversation.
Personal commitment: To share this material only with other women. “Based on what I have just read, I commit to sharing this material only with other women. I also commit to remaining quiet and not leaving this material around for my husband to accidentally or intentionally read. If my husband does inquire as to the positive change in me, I commit to be ready with the above statement only.”
If you are ready to make a commitment to GOD to finish the course, by CLICKING HERE you've agreed, and are ready to document this next step along your Restoration Journey in your "My Daily Journal" form. Take your time, sit down, grab your coffee or tea, and pour your heart into your Journal.
As an “Older women likewise…teaching what is good, that they may ENCOURAGE the young women…” (Titus 2:3) you will have the opportunity to speak to the younger women who are still single as part of your ministry.