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Archive for March, 2007

Before reading this, you should read this post from Beauty from the Heart. Very thought-provoking!

I was visiting Beauty from the Heart recently (one of my favorite sites, if you haven’t already figured that out!) and read their post entitled, “Overbearing Daddies and Magazines That Care.” It talks about how a certain teenage magazine thinks that a father protecting his daughter’s purity is, well, bizarre and grossly restrictive.

Reading about this, I was once again saddened by the way our culture takes the truly beautiful and makes it look undesirable (such as purity and faithfulness to your future husband, while it takes the truly undesirable (ungodly) and makes it appear beautiful (such as adultery and fornification).

Then, I realized that it’s not just our culture. It’s been going on since sin entered God’s creation. You see, one of the first deceptive tricks used by Satan on Eve was making the undesirable- the forbidden- appear beautiful. He made the beautiful- walking with God and trusting and obeying Him- appear undesirable. Satan made Eve question her Creator’s goodness.

“But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that it was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:4-6

We know the results of Adam and Eve’s taking of the fruit: banishment from the Garden, banishment from fellowship with the Lord, their Creator. And we know the happy ending to the story: redemption in Christ by the grace of God and work of the Holy Spirit. Until the Lord takes us to Heaven, though, we still live in a fallen, sinful world. And Satan still uses the same trick to tempt us into sinning. He makes us question God and what God has told us is beautiful.

Our sinful world (and culture) also gives us this deceptive message (I John 5:19, James 4:4). We are told that it is much more beautiful to be a seductive woman than to be a pure woman. Because what is purity anyway? Just some crazy set of rules to keep us from having fun?

See, our loving Heavenly Father knows the ramification for sin. We do, too. We can read about the Fall and see how it brought pain, suffering, death, separation from the Lord. Sin destroys.

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown brings forth death.” James 1:14-15

From this verse, we see that sin comes out of our own hearts- our own desire. Our hearts are so corrupt that we have no hope of overcoming sin and knowing what is true and what is false. We must constantly look upward to the One who gave us life, reading His Word and thus filling our minds with a different message than the one the culture is giving us.

Then, knowing God’s truth, we must trust and obey Him, even when our culture thinks we’re being foolish, even when our own hearts object.
The Lord, our Heavenly Father, has something better than what this world promises. Can you wait? Can you trust? Can you obey?

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As this series begins, I want to encourage you and remind you of the influence you have in the home as a daughter who fears and loves the Lord.

Daughters have a way of sweetening the life of a home that comes from their God-given desire to be helpers. One of the gifts that God has given to woman is the ability to nurture and beautify. It is honestly amazing to see the effect the wife and mother has on the home, for good or for evil. “A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to retrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.” (Proverbs 27:15). And while daughters do not have quite the same effect on the air of the home as the mother, daughters do have an important effect. Have you ever noticed your power to cheer and comfort, or maybe to harm? I know that my hasty, irritable words can stir up contention in our home. However, my uplifting words, stemming from a heart that is in love with Christ, can comfort and encourage other family members and cheer the life of our home.

A quick thought about emotions: though emotions are important, I think it is essential to keep moodiness from ruling your role as a daughter. We must not take stress, anger, or frustration out on others. As girls, it’s so easy to let our moods dictate how we act, but we must learn to live by love the love of Christ. The basis for all is a growing relationship with the Lord. Focus your heart on Him and let your whole self be captive to Him. Then can you truly love and obey Him, taking up your cross daily to serve and love others.

In a home, every family member is important in determining what the home will be like. However, God can greatly use a daughter who is devoted to serving Him to change the home dramatically for His glory. I encourage you to read this post again (particularly the quote by Mabel Hale). Never forget the influence you have as a woman who loves the Lord. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility- one that you must rely on God’s grace and provision to accomplish.

“Let love be genunine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:9-12

Sadly, I see in many churches (and often even in my own life) a lack of honor and love in the home. Our culture views the house as the place where we relax, unwind, and live for ourselves. However, homes are one of the greatest opportunities for ministry, and God esteems the family and home. Do we do the same? Do we seek to honor others above ourselves in the home or only when in public?

 

Now, I want to hear your ideas and stories. How do you keep your attitude sweet and loving? What are some things (either simple or complex) that you do to show honor and love to other family member? (You are welcome to answer these questions in your comment, or you can comment on something else!)

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A Daughter Who Fears the Lord
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

I’m sure you’ve read the account of the godly woman in Proverbs 31. She is a portrait of a woman who is following the Lord. This is the central aspect of her being, and it controls everything she is and does, including the way she uses her time, what comes out of her mouth, and what she buys. I think it’s safe to say that the woman talked of in Proverbs 31 did not become who she is overnight (and since she’s human, she is most definitely not perfect). Most likely, her training began as a young girl in her father’s house. She probably started off as a daughter and maybe as a sister, too.

In this series, I am going to talk about issues that pertain to being a daughter who fears the Lord. The central aspect is Christlikeness. The topics won’t be in a recognizable order, but they will be from Scripture and things that the Lord is teaching me. I hope that this series will encourage you and strengthen you as you grow in Christlikeness and as you serve Him in your role as a daughter (and really, wherever you are). It’s going to be highly practical at times, and often quite specific. But mainly, it should serve as a reminder and encouragement to you. It will find its basis in Scripture.

Before we begin, I want to make a couple of things clear.

First, as I have emphasized before on this blog, I am a sinner, but I am a redeemed sinner- a work in progress. I am far from perfect, but God, in His grace, has begun the sanctification process in me to grow me into the likeness of His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. I still must constantly lean upon His grace and forgiveness, as I fail often. So, when I write this, I am writing based on the standards of Scripture- not what I have attained, but what I hope to attain by the grace of God. Realize that our sanctification is by the grace of God alone and will not be completed on this side of Heaven. In a similar vein, I am no expert in this subject, which brings us to the second point.

Secondly, realize that I am indebted to many godly men and women as I work on this series. I will link to their posts, give you quotes from their writings, and reference them quite often. God has used numerous others to shape my life, and I am certain that He will continue to do so. In light of this, I want this series to provoke discussion. If you have anything to add to whatever I’ve written (whether a testimony, Bible verse, quote– anything!) feel free to email me (createdtobeahelp@gmail.com) or post a comment. I pray that we will encourage one another during this series. I dearly hope to learn from your insights, accomplishments, even mistakes, as I hope you will learn from mine.

May the Lord use my humble writings to His glory, and may He work through me to encourage you, as so many have encouraged me in my walk of faith!

Your sister in Christ,
Ella

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