Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Paul's take on women in 1 Timothy

Normally, when we read 1 Timothy 2:11-15, we would skip it as an out-of-date passage about keeping women down, but the pastor this week took a deeper look into the culture and the original meanings of the passage, giving it new life.

"Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing --- if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."

First, this passage was actually encouraging women to learn at church. In a time when women were allowed in the synagogue but were not encouraged to be there, telling women to learn was actually progressive. And the fact that they were to learn quietly in the original text simply meant to not be unruly. That seems fair enough.

The phase "in all submissiveness," meant to fall in line. It wasn't a demeaning phrase for women. In fact, those same words were used in Titus 2 when talking to a congregation and also in Philippians for how we are to follow Jesus.

The pastor also noted that when we look at the world, the places where women are actually valued and can go places are the places where the gospel has reigned. In places where Christianity is not prominent, women are covered, treated as property, used as sexual slaves, have no rights. Christianity is what has valued women through the generations.

The next part of the Bible passage about women not being able to lead and teach, well, that apparently is still self explanatory even in the original text. However, it was meant only for family and church life. Women are allowed to lead at work, in home Bible studies, in women's and children's ministries and can contribute through prayer and other service work. It just means pastors and elders are off-limits, and I think that is just fine. Well, it doesn't matter what I think if that is what God directs.

The question always comes up when women are limited of "Why is this so hard? Why do we rebel against these directives?"

Because that is what sin caused.

When sin entered the world, woman was cursed with pain in childbirth as well as "your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you." Women have had to deal with the desire to lead their husbands since the beginning, but that is not what we were created to do. We were created to be helpers. So as much as we desire to rule, that's just not who we were created to be.

There was a lot to unpack in these four verses, and I think they are verses we often gloss over, thinking they are out of touch with the world today. But when we look a little closer, we see so much more value.

How much are we missing in our Bible on a daily basis when we just gloss over verses?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cherish Your Spouse...Take a listen

For today, I'm going simple --- listen to this podcast. It is a wonderful podcast about cherishing your spouse, and I was convicted by a lot of things in it and part 2 of the show.

Focus on the Family podcast
Podcast part 2

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bro time

So many times when we were dating and first got married I was a terror when Nate wanted to spend time with his friends. I remember the night that I bawled on the floor by the bed when we got married and he was playing video games instead of cuddling with me.


The poor man so often let me crash his boys nights, and he still does, because I truly do enjoy hanging out with his friends. There were nights that his family or friends were over, and his parents were playing games with Nate and his friends and then his mom would go up to go to bed, leaving Nate's dad on his own. I truly thought she was selfish not staying up and hanging out with her husband. I thought I would never do that.

However, now, I've realized it probably had little to do with her. I think she knew that her husband needed some time on his own, with guys, even if it was just family or his son's friends.

The other day, Nate told me that it has been proven that men who have time with male friends, guy time, man time, were actually happier and more satisfied. I have realized that in the past few years that sometimes he just needs to talk to his friends. It's not usually anything serious, and it's not like he's keeping out of the loop so he can hang out with them. He just needs that bonding time.

So I truly have tried to get better about giving him his guy time without making him feel bad about it.

He did let me crash his family/friend ice fishing guy time this weekend a couple of times, but last night, I was sitting with them at 8:30 p.m. and I did something I never thought I would do when I was 16 years old. I pulled a 'mother-in-law.' I decided to head home.

It wasn't because I was tired. It wasn't because I didn't want to spend time with him. It was because I just thought that they wanted to play cards and be with the guys, so I said good-bye and headed out.

Live and learn I guess.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Moments around the fire

The same podcast that I wrote about last time had another point that I added to my notes on my phone to write about later.

The Smalleys mentioned that it's important to spiritually share together, and we do struggle with that sometimes. I wish that we would be able to do more devotions together, and I hope that's something we will work on in the future.

However, Gary Smalley mentioned that it's important to naturally bring up spirituality. We should look at our spouses and see where it is that they usually open up spiritually and then intentionally go to those places and use those situations to grow together.

Take my husband and put him by an open fire at night or on a porch as the sun sets, and boom, there you have it. It's in those moments that Nate opens up and contemplates the universe. It doesn't matter if it is with me, with his family, with his friends, the deepest conversations that I have been a part of with him have been in one of those two spots.

I guess this summer is going to include a lot more porch time. And we've already planned some camping trips on our land, so I'm looking forward to more moments around the fire.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Serving your spouse

I have had a lot of time in the car the past few days, and I actually enjoy those moments away from the office when I can listen to podcasts in between stops.

I have a small set of podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis: The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe, the Dave Ramsey Show, Focus on the Family, and I used to enjoy Planet Money but like everything it has turned political and was dropped from my list today.

Focus on the Family had special guests Gary Smalley and his wife, Erin, on yesterday, celebrating Valentine's Day, and I had to note a few tidbits of wisdom they had about marriage.

The first was, "Never ask the question, 'How can I have a better marriage?' because that focuses on the other person. Instead, ask, 'What can I do to be a better husband/wife?'"

I think on Valentine's Day and anniversaries, we always hear that we're supposed to have a talk with our spouses about "How can we improve our marriage?" Usually, that includes telling the other person how they can be better. How often do we look at ourselves and actually note how we can instead serve our spouses better?

I actually do try to intentionally look at life in a way that I illuminates areas I can improve in, but on those days when I don't try to intentionally do that, my go-to is to blame my husband.

It's something small, but I remember thinking the other night that instead of asking my husband what he wanted to drink with dinner that I would pour my own glass of water, and he was a big boy, so he could get what he wanted himself. By the time I got into the kitchen, I realized that was a selfish way of thinking and I wouldn't want him to do that to me, so I did ask him, although he still ended up pouring his own milk.

Often, I am doing really well at serving my husband, and then it might come up in a conversation with our friends that I fix his plate and often bring it into the living room where we usually eat dinner. If they laugh, my first reaction is pride that I serve my husband, but later it comes up when I'm making plates, "Yeah, why can't he serve himself?"

The answer is, he can. He's a grown man. He could even cook himself dinner. We could each fix our own meals and eat when it was convenient. I don't have to wait for him to get home from work, and the nights that I get home late, he doesn't have to wait for me.

We could also go to bed when we're tired, even if that means going to bed at different times.

We could completely take care of our own needs and let the other person take care of theirs.

But that's not what marriage is about. That's not partnership. Marriage is about serving each other. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, and Christ served the church. He made himself low and in return was made the highest of high. We are to follow his example and make ourselves low in our marriages, to serve our spouses, and in return, we will be the greater.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Do what your priorities are

A friend on mine posted a meme on Facebook that basically said that whatever you prioritize in life will come first.

I realized, if you looked at my life, you probably wouldn't realize that I prioritize God by what I put first in life. It's been one month, and I already am way behind in my Bible reading. My thoughts usually go like this:

"Just one more snooze."
"I'm tired. I'll read it tonight."

"I really need to get up and do my Bible reading in the morning."

So, obviously, it doesn't get done.

I decided that I actually need to complete the things that are important to me and put them at the top of the list, even if those aren't the easiest things to do. This morning, I actually did wake up 15 minutes earlier --- that might not sound like much, but those who know me know how I LOVE to sleep --- and I read a chapter of Matthew. I even had enough time to put the coffee pot on before I went to work.

Score for day 1 of new priorities.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hawaiian Fried Rice

I don't like Hawaiian pizza.

That sweet meat combination never appealed to me, and I have never understood why someone wanted to ruin perfectly good ham with an orange glaze at Thanksgiving time.

However, my husband likes it, and I found a recipe a few years ago on Pinterest for a Hawaiian fried rice recipe, so I decided to try it.

Surprisingly, I loved it! I didn't think I would like the sweet meat combination, but the salty ham and soy sauce, the spice in the sauce, the sweet pineapple --- it was all delicious.

That's when I realized it was never the ham and pineapple combination that I didn't like. I went back to try Hawaiian pizza and still didn't like it, coming to the conclusion that it is the combination of pineapple and pizza sauce that I actually don't enjoy.

It never hurts to try some new things, even if you think you won't like them. 

Hawaiian Fried Rice
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups diced ham
1 red bell pepper
6 green onions
3 garlic cloves
5 cups cooked rice
3 large eggs
1 cup pineapple pieces, canned or fresh

Stir soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil, diced ham, red bell pepper and white parts of the green onion. Stir in the garlic.

Heat remaining oil and cook rice. Push rice to one side and lightly scramble eggs. Add ham mixture.

Pour soy sauce mixture over. Turn off heat, add pineapple and green onions.