April 15, 2014
Women Living Well
Courtney openly shares her love of God, her husband, her children and her home.
Her book is broken into 4 sections:
Part 1: Your Walk With The King
Part 2: Your Marriage
Part 3: Your Parenting
Part 4: Your Homemaking
Courtney starts her book out with this:
"God created us to walk with Him, to know Him, and to be loved by Him. He is our living well, and when we drink from the water He continually provides, His living water will change us, making us more like Jesus."
I thought I'd share just a couple of parts that stuck out for me.
Firstly, in chapter 4 'The Effects of the Media Revolution' Courtney address some highs and lows of social media. Things like social media and our spiritual life and social media and our friendships. If you are a woman you will relate to many of the things she talks about. One being jealousy.
She says here:
"The comparison trap is just that - a trap! Pictures of vacations, new homes, new cars, or fun nights out with friends are a breeding ground for jealousy. There are two sides to this coin. First, there's the person putting the information out there. Is it wrong to post a picture of your vacation or fun night out?
No...but we can be sensitive to those who weren't invited or who can't afford a vacation this year. We don't have to post every picture or an update about every night out. Philippians 2:3-4 says, 'In humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.'
On the flip side, jealousy is all throughout the Bible, and we see how deadly it is to friendships. Remember Cain and Abel, Sarah and Hagar, Joseph and his brothers, Haman and Mordecai, Saul and David, and the Pharisees and Jesus? These are just to name a few; if we looked into it further, we'd find many more relationships in the Bible that were ruined by jealousy.
Jealousy comes when we take our eyes off Jesus.
When I feel discouraged by things happening in the social media world, I always come to a point of realizing that I have taken my eyes off Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, 'Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.'
We must focus on Jesus and exchange drama for peace."
This really resonated with me. A few years ago I went off of my personal Facebook for this very reason.
It was eating at my heart and I finally decided to deleted all my friends and take some time off. After almost a year, I went back on, invited my friends back and it has been totally different. Taking that time off to refocus on the Lord and not on what others were doing and saying made a huge difference in my life. Now I'm really enjoying Facebook and all my friends there.
Secondly, in chapter 6 'The Time-Warp Wife' Courtney talks about respecting our husbands. She mentions that we all have areas that we struggle with in doing this.
She says here:
"None of us is married to a perfect man. All husbands are flawed, just as we wives are all flawed, simply because we are all sinners. In most sitcoms, the husband is the brunt of jokes. He is stupid, while the wife knows it all and runs the house. This may be culturally acceptable, but it is not acceptable to God.
God has placed an order in our homes according to Ephesians 5, and the man is the head of the home and is to be respected in that role. 'The husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.' (v.23).
Since this order is God ordained, when a wife bucks the system and disrespects her husband, her problem is not with her husband but with God. Does she trust God enough to take care of her? Is she willing to quietly pray about the problem she is having with her husband and give God room to work in her husband's heart? Is she willing to support her husband fully as his helpmate and make it safe for him to make a mistake and ask for help, or does he fear his wife's harsh tongue when he fails and therefore does not feel safe to ask for help."
Elisabeth Elliot, in her book 'Let Me Be A Woman' asks the question, 'Who is it you marry?'
Elisabeth says here:
"You marry a sinner. There's nobody else to marry. That ought to be obvious enough, but when you love a man as you love yours it's easy to forget. You forget it for a while and then when something happens that ought to remind you, you find yourself wondering what's the matter, how could this happen, where did things go wrong?
They went wrong back in the Garden of Eden. Settle it once for all; your husband is a son of Adam. Acceptance of him...of all of him...includes acceptance of his being a sinner. He is a fallen creature, in need of the same kind of redemption all the rest of us are in need of, and liable to all the temptations which are 'common to man.'"
Elisabeth later writes in her book:
"But you will find yourself disarmed utterly, and your accusing spirit transformed into loving forgiveness the moment you remember that you did, in fact, marry only a sinner, and so did he. It's grace you both need."
This reminded me that we don't respect our husbands because of the way they are (sinners just like us), but because God asks us too. And everything God asks of us is for our ultimate good.
And lastly, in chapter 13 'Motherhood Mess-Ups' Courtney talks about the ups and downs of being a mom. I really appreciated what she said here about parenting books vs prayer:
"There are enough books on parenting to fill a football stadium, so reading a book with a formula clearly does not work. I believe in the power of prayer. Each child and each mother is in a unique situation. Don't get me wrong; I love parenting books and have read many, but none of them can replace the prayer of a mother for her child."
I can't emphasize this enough. How-to-books will help for a season, but not in the long run.
Intimate prayer with the Lord will.
I really enjoyed this book and how much it honored the Lord. Courtney has a beautiful heart and it comes through on the pages of her book.
I'll leave you with some great quotes Courtney used:
"A good marriage is the union of two forgivers." Ruth Bell Graham
"Conflicts are not a sign that you have married the wrong person. They simply affirm that you are human." Dr. Gary Chapman
"God works through faithful parents who, in spite of dark and difficult days, walk obediently to Him." Elizabeth George
"What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it." Matthew Henry
"Give yourself permission not to have your to-do list all checked off in order for you to rest and get alone with God." Courtney Joseph
Buy it HERE on Amazon