A National Debt of Gratitude

This is a phenomenal post by Melinda K. 

Have we become ashamed to show patriotism?

It may depend on where one lives and whether or not one was raised to appreciate our military and our freedom they protect. I wonder, however, if most of the holidays established to celebrate our heroes and our country have not been reduced to nothing more than picnics and parties. Have burgers and hot dogs replaced flags and memorials? Do we now ignore their sacrifices and hold “sacred” the three-day weekend?

While we enjoyed the freedom to gather with family and friends for cookouts, did we soberly consider the sacrifices that were made to give us our freedom?

Please read this whole article at The Bottom Line … 

Naked no more: Clothed in Strength and Dignity

I doubt I’m the only woman who finds the Proverbs 31 woman intimidating. Last year, I wrote a post about this, a paraphrase of that infamous chapter.

However, when I read the chapter in light of my One Word for 2013, a tiny segment of verses stands out. Verses 25-27 seem to skip away from her laundry list of to-do’s and been-done’s. Instead those three little verses give me a peak at her personality, what she’s really thinking and feeling. And surprisingly, in the midst of her busyness, she seems genuinely happy.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.”

While many in my generation revel in the greatest comfort our word has ever known: myriad conveniences, technology, progress and wealth, there are not many of us who Laugh at our future. What would it take? Where can we find the inner peace and joy to look forward and laugh? I want to laugh even when the stock market crumbles, even when I disagree with political decisions, even if I am unemployed, even if my loved ones die. I want to laugh at the future.

The Bible says this woman is clothed with strength and dignity. The Hebrew words strength and dignity can also be translated “to be fixed (strength) and to claim honor (dignity)”.

Those words remind me of Hebrews 12:2-3

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

If I were to resolve in this new year to be more like the Proverbs 31 woman, I would start here. I will fix my eyes on Jesus, becoming steadfast and immovable –  strong. And I will claim honor by despising shame. I will not accept defeat, shame or discouragement. Instead, like my Savior, I will claim the honor that is rightly mine as a child of God and I will laugh at the future. 

Women are Inferior To Men…

The Bible says women are inferior to men.  

You’re being a doormat to treat him with such respect when he doesn’t return the favor.

You’ve heard it.

Recently, my little sister’s boss asked her the $24,000 question.  As a mom-to-be and a new home owner, her priorities are shifting.  In the midst of an unrelated conversation he asked, “Do you think your husband’s job is more important that yours?”

Wow, feminists, I can hear you roaring!  I smell the bacon frying and you’re on your way back out the door to trample on every man who gets in your way.

Kelsey said, “Yes.”  Now, there are plenty of logical reasons – Kelsey is going to be taking maternity leave at the very least and be unable to work for a while, and Blake makes more money, to name two.  But really, she told me, her heart is committed to the Biblical description of Christian behavior.  She is proud of and loves her home.  She is anxious to fill their new house with baby things, a loving atmosphere and if she’s lucky – puppies!  Kelsey does not plan to sign her life away to a progressive career before her first child is even born.

So, Christian, is a woman inferior to a man?   Can she achieve less?  Is she doomed to servanthood all her days?

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”  1 Peter 3:1,2

I can hear you protesting.  Did you only look at those two verses?  Step back, take in the full view.  Start in 1 Peter 2:13-25.  I’ll excerpt some of it for you.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” (v.13) …jump…

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His footsteps.” (v. 21)  Jesus was abused, ignored, reviled and slandered.  Even in the worst of circumstances, Jesus submitted himself without retaliation or indignation.  He entrusted himself to God, who judges justly.

If Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the Father’s will in order to ransom me, then, can I not submit myself to any authority figure, knowing that ultimately (whether they realize it or not) I am subjected to and judged justly by God?

And men, don’t think you’re off the hook!  Just a few verses down, there’s another “Likewise.”

The command to submit is not limited to women any more than salvation is limited to men.  Christ-like behavior is to, “Honor everyone.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 13:10