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Knowing Your Place
Inspired by the story of Sarah (Genesis 16-18, 21)

Sarah and Abraham had no children and were looking forward to having one as a fulfillment of Gods promise to them.

But the promise took quite a while to come to pass. Sarah gets discouraged and tries to help God, move things a little bit faster. She gives her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham, hoping to build a family through her.

However, this arrangement did not work as Sarah had imagined it. When Hagar conceived, she began to despise her.

What are you perceiving as your deficiency as a wife in your home? For some like Sarah, its barrenness, for others, it is joblessness, or lack of a good education, or a lousy family background, or maybe a not-so-rosy past.

These conditions have the potential to affect how we view ourselves, the value we deem of ourselves as wives. They have the capacity to make you feel that you have let your husband down, that you are not worth your position in the home. They can lower your self-worth as a wife.

But this wasn’t the case for Sarah. She may have felt she let her husband down, thus offered a trial solution though Hagar, but she did not feel less valuable to Abraham for not having borne him children.

Sarah knew Hagar was her mistress with or without a child, and she did not allow Hagar room to despise her. She talked to her husband about it and Abraham reminded her of her place – to deal with her servant.

Sarah knew her place and rights and could make demands accordingly. Just because Hagar had borne Abraham a son did not make her feel she was less of a wife. She knew she was still the lady of the home, her husband’s beloved. God was in agreement, and Hagar had to submit to Sarah, just like before the pregnancy.

Later on, Sarah gets a son with Abraham, for God wasn’t going to settle for fleshly solutions to fulfill his promise. As Isaac was growing up, Sarah noticed Hagar’s son, Ishmael mocking. Knowing her place, Sarah spoke with finality that Ishmael would never share the inheritance with her son Isaac.

Sarah knew that Isaac was the child of the promise. She boldly asked her husband to send Hagar and her son away. This is to put it kindly. In essence, she demanded that Abraham gets rid of them. This was right in God’s sight, and so Abraham complied. He enquired of the Lord and agreed to listen to and do as Sarah desired.

Unlike Abraham, who reminded and reassured Sarah of her position in his life, your husband may not know your place and rights as a wife in his home, but you must know it and require it accorded to you. This does not in any way purport being bossy and dishonouring your husband.

God expects submission of wives. Sarah obeyed Abraham and even referred to him as “my lord,” and treated him as such. Through her submission to her husband, Sarah established that her mission in life was to help her husband fulfill God’s purpose for him.

Lillian Chebosi

 

It is Well

Inspired by the story of the Shunammite Woman (2 Kings 4:8-37)

The Shunammite woman was blessed with the son she secretly desired but did not ask for. Because of her unreserved hospitality to the man of God, Elisha sought to seek God to bless her with a son.

Awhile later, the gift that she was given, the child who was her greatest joy caused her to experience her greatest pain. The child died.

The Shunammite woman did not waste time grieving, asking "why me?" She did not broadcast her woe to her friends and relatives, or transfer her pain to her husband. Instead, she quietly resolved to pursue a solution. She went in search of the one who had blessed her, to see if he could bless her again.

The Shunammite woman did not tell her husband that the child had died. Having decided not to burden him with her grief, she responded to his questions with a simple "It’s all right". Although the greatest love of her life was gone, she chose to believe that it would be well. She never lost faith in the face of what seemed to be a hopeless situation and learned an incredible lesson about restoration.

On the way she meets Elisha’s aide who asks her if everything is alright with her and her family. Her response is resounding. She says "All is well."

Most of us are quick to broadcast our troubles to people who do not have the power to help us. We unashamedly air our dirty laundry to anyone who would listen. We are too quick to bring others in when something upsetting happens, thus spreading negative energy and getting everyone excited prematurely.

Share your hurt only with those with the wisdom and power to help you find a remedy. Keep quiet for just a moment before letting in the noise of others. It is in the stillness that you will hear the voice of wisdom on the course to take.

Don’t tell those who cannot handle the news. They will convince you out of your faith for a reversal of the situation. They will tell you to accept your loss and move on when you can have a chance at a different outcome.

Like the Shunammite woman, don’t be in a hurry to accept your misfortune. Seek a solution first. If all attempts fail, resign yourself to your loss and weather it by continuing your life gracefully.

Can you come out and say "It is well," even when hell is breaking lose in your life? Can God trust you with ground shaking trials to be a testimony of His greatness, or would you rather easily give in to your loss? When the doctors diagnose you with a life threatening disease, do you give up the fight to restore your health? Can you dare say "It is well" when you lose your job? Do you throw in the towel at the onset of the slightest storm in your marriage? Most of the separations and divorces in our society today could be avoided if only we learnt to say "It is well," refuse to accept the bad and resolve to find a solution.

We are not ordinary people. Our advocate is a mender of things. God is in the business of turning ashes into beauty. Many people refuse to believe that God can bring good out of the worst of situations. He can. If only you would take to Him the bad and ask Him to fix it, rather than give up the fight to bring your blessing back to life.

Being able to look good on paper despite what is going on beneath the surface is a divine quality. Never let others see you sweat. Have immovable faith no matter what is happening around you. Don’t waste time complaining and having a pity party. Focus on the solution and pursue it.

Do not be bowed by your pain. Rather, learn to transfer your pain into a positive thing. Master the art of living over your circumstances. Determine not to give in easily to crisis. Don’t allow it to change your demeanor. Understand that disappointments and setbacks are inevitable, but misery is optional. Without losing your composure, have the courage to face your pain and believe in an answer.

We get what we expect. Walk in constant expectancy of blessings - of your heart’s desires being met by believing that God wants to bless you. Those who know who they are and who they serve are able to walk in the expectation of their desires being fulfilled. In spite of loss or disappointment, know your true worth in God’s sight and do not shy from seeking it.

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

 

Nurture a Quiet Spirit
Inspired by the story of Abigail (1 Samuel 25)

Abigail had just returned from cleaning up the mess her husband had made by offending David. When her servant told her what had happened, she calmed everyone down and shifted into damage-control mode. She quickly gathered resources and rode off to meet David to apologize on behalf of her husband.

Returning home after successfully talking David out of his plot to take fatal revenge on her entire household, she finds her husband having a party. Given the stress she had just endured, it would have taken a lot of restraint not to interrupt his celebration and tell him of what a fool he had been.

But Abigail resisted the urge to confront her husband. She kept her cool and turned in for the night. She left him to his revelry and took time to collect and center herself. The next morning over breakfast she calmly related what had happened the previous day. Nabal had a fit. Abigail’s response to his outburst is not recorded; perhaps she had none.

How do you handle times when your man is upset with you and he is letting it fly? Do you raise your voice too; give him a piece of your mind, especially when you know he is wrong? Have you found responding furiously to fury productive? Some would say “You’ve got to fight fire with fire,” but I beg to differ.

How do you respond when offended, or misjudged?  Most of the time we are itching to be heard; we want the other person to hear our argument. We can’t wait to launch a counter-attack, and defend ourselves. We wish to vent out and get back at the one who has aggravated us. As women, we would like to let our words fly off the handle when our men act out of character.

From the story of Abigail, we see the power in being calm and collected in the midst of chaos. We need to embrace the wonderful truth that unlike men, we can win our battles without flexing a muscle. And we don’t have to raise our voice to be heard either.

Conflicts are best resolved in a state of calmness. As we encounter conflicts at home, we ought to consider our actions and their consequences before reacting on impulse. We have to desist from reacting in a destructive manner. Walk softly and consider all the facts before reacting or responding emotionally. Measure your words and choose wisdom over foolishness.

You’ve got to maintain your composure even when your man is losing his. Master the art of self-control in your life. Exercises discretion and prudence, moving and acting carefully regardless of what is going on around you.

Self-control does not always feel good initially. Sometimes you just want to let it fly when someone aggravates you. But when you consider what the outcome of that situation would be, wisdom assures you it would be far better to keep your mouth shut.

Be able to maintain a reputation for great poise despite the kind of situations you may have to constantly deal with. Learn how to be silent, and refuse to give more credit to the offense. Do what you can to maintain peace in your surroundings and allow God to handle what you cannot.

Lillian Chebosi

 
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A FOOLISH WOMAN TEARS DOWN HER HOME

Proverbs 14:1 ‘A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.’

Folly has a raggedy house. The foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands. Her life and affairs are in constant disarray because of the foolish choices she makes.

A wise woman fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless (Proverbs 14:16).

Let us consider some of the mistakes we make as women that tear down our homes.

A foolish woman tears down her home by:

  • Despising her husband in her heart.

- What she thinks of him

- How she regards him in her heart

1 Chronicles 15:29; As the Ark of the Covenant was entering the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David dancing and celebrating, she despised him in her heart.

  • Competing with her husband.

- Rather than supporting her husband, she competes for leadership with him.

- Instead of standing by him and rallying behind him to help him fulfill his vision, she stubbornly pushes for her own agenda.

- What can you sacrifice for the time being?

Philippians 2:3-7; Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

  • Not being a role model to her children

- She has not earned the respect of her children by the way she relates to her husband.

- She conducts herself in an irreverent manner. Thus, her character and behavior are not worth emulating.

Titus 2:3-5 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

  • Engaging in unwholesome talk.

- She is careless in her speech

- She makes threats to her husband and children

- She engages in manipulative criticism and withholds due praise and encouragement.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

  • Slandering her husband, hence failing to honour him

- She misrepresents her husband; talking ill of him and broadcasting his shortcomings to family and friends.

- She disrespects and dishonors her husband

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

  • Being partial with her children.

- She favors one/some children over others.

- She compares the children and chooses not to love them equally.

Genesis 27:11-17 Jacob takes Esau’s blessing through the scheming of his mother Rebekah, leading to family feuds and separation. Jacob missed the pleasure of being with both of his children in his old age - Paraphrase.

  • Making no effort to be attractive to her husband

- She is least concerned about her personal appearance and countenance.

- She does not make an effort to stay attractive to her husband, thus taking him for granted.

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.

  • Neglecting house work, thinking of home-making as beneath her.

- She does not take charge of her household

- She is lazy, disorganized, and would rather have servants run her home.

- She views domesticity as something that is beneath her

-Her house is a mess, disorganized, and unattractive. She doesn’t take time to cultivate good taste in her household, thereby failing to transform her house into a safe haven for her family

Proverbs 24:4 Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures

  • Withholding good from her husband and children.

- She has not made her home, marriage and children a priority. Her career pursuits, activities and friends take prominence over her family

- She fails to make her home a refuge by creating a good atmosphere

- She delegates or neglects the core aspects of loving her husband and children.

- She withholds her time and attention, and whatever is good from them.

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Do you identify with the foolish woman? There’s a way out;

  • Seek wisdom to find balance between advancing your career and building your home.

James 3: 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

  • Address the issues that are causing trouble in your home.

Songs of Songs 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

  • Find mature, balanced successful women who can walk with you and mentor you on the art of womanhood and home-making.
  • Give yourself to the study of the word of God to obtain divine guidance for victorious living.


Lillian Chebosi




 
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