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29.2.12

Sneaky Photos by Lorah-Kelly

I have been accompanying my lovely daughter, Lorah-Kelly, on various photo shoots lately which has been loads of fun.  Each time she ended up sneaking in a few photos of me so I thought I would share them with you just for fun.  The first shoot we did was for the cover of my new book, Esther or Delilah?.  I sat on the sidelines directing the shoot and caring for one of the model's baby as she braved the cold.  You can see the full photo shoot here and below is the sneaky one Lorah took of me!


The following day we did a family shoot in the park.  Myself and a friend were on the sidelines playing around with some umbrellas. Lorah decided to photograph this too!  See more of the umbrella photos here.


I highly recommend getting Lorah to take some photographs for you, at the moment she is running a special where you only pay for the photos you want and not the shoot. Email Lorah at lorah@lorahkelly.co.uk for more info.
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28.2.12

Being a Wife - Who Enjoys Sex

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.
      This beautiful selection of words is from the Bible in Proverbs 5:18-19 which speaks of how a man should delight in his wife sexually. Sex was made for our pleasure. We are to delight in each other and to experience great pleasure. If your sex life is not achieving this then you need to take action. Don’t settle for less. Don’t believe that sex is simply one of your matrimonial duties, your wifely chores. God designed sex so that we can enjoy each other intimately.

Sex is marriage. In my opinion your marriage certificate doesn’t make you married but the first time you have sex you become married. There is nothing else that makes a man and a woman married. Sex is the most important part of a marriage.  Have you ever heard of a couple getting divorced but saying that the sex was great? Of course not, it doesn’t exist! Our sex life is the part of our marriage that represents the health of our marriage and the health of our intimacy. Sex is what takes two people and makes them one. Sex was God’s idea! 

Let’s take a look at what God had in mind when he made sex and let’s try and get our marriage as close to the original design as possible. Forget what you have seen on TV and in the movies, it’s not real.

Genesis 2:25
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Key #1 - Be Naked Together
Being naked together was God’s idea and it is wonderful. Before you even begin to get into the act of sex, start with enjoy each other by being naked together. Do you and your husband spend time together being naked? Do you love each other and touch each other all over long before you get busy with sex? Start building a strong, healthy sex life by simple spending time together being naked. Don’t rush it, enjoy some naked time together.

Men are visual; they are stimulated by what they see. As his wife you can either fill his mind with images of you naked or you can allow movies, TV, magazine advert and billboards to fill his mind with images of naked women. Make sure you are regularly showing your naked body to him, allow him to spend time looking at you. Be playful, tease him, stand in front of him naked but don’t let him touch you, surprise him by being naked in an unexpected place like in the kitchen!
Being naked is extremely important so be creative and come up with ways to fill your husband’s mind with images of you naked. Help him not need to look elsewhere, help him to be satisfied with what is already stored up in his mind.
      Women of course are less visual and more physical. Ask your husband not to rush cuddles and times of physical touch. Explain to him that you need as much naked physical touch as he needs visual stimulation. Some women need more that others, but don’t expect your husband to automatically know what you need, tell him your needs.
      Lastly, don’t be too shy to look at your nakedness with your husband. Truly satisfying sex starts in the mind. If you want to have a great sex life, fill your mind with sexual thoughts when you are having sex. It might seem like I am stating the obvious but how many times has your mind wondered off during sex to your task list, or the dishes that need washing or the plans you have for the next day? Keep your mind on sex during sex. The best way to do this is to look at your nakedness. Watch his hand touch you, look at the muscles in his body move as he moves over you, take time to look at yours and his nakedness so that your mind stays on sex.
      One final thought on nakedness, protect your mind and your husband’s mind. The devil is just waiting to flash an image of another naked woman in front your husband’s eyes. Take care of each other and of your sex life by avoiding places and situations that offer images of other people naked. Make a decision not to watch movies or read magazines that you know contain nudity. Understand that if you don’t bother to do this, you are affecting yours and his ability to enjoy sex.

Key #2 - Be Unashamed
Do you feel ashamed in your nakedness? Do you hide your body from your husband because you feel fat or ugly? Do you have scars, defects or are you just plain uncomfortable being naked around him? We need to enjoy being unashamedly naked – that was the blessing of God before we messed it up and had to cover up with fig leaves. We cannot enjoy sex if we are not comfortable with our bodies.
      To truly enjoy sex you need to become unashamed of your body. Rather than spending time trying to find more exiting sexual positions, start with spending time being naked and being comfortable with your bodies. Explore each other’s bodies, help each other feel unashamed. Keep the lights on and look at each other, look at yourself. Before you can experience the true pleasure of sex with your husband you both need to get to the place where you are unashamed.
      Your husband will enjoy watching you get dressed or undressed, don’t be annoyed with him and don’t be ashamed. Take time to dress in front of him, purposefully make sure you are getting his attention. Shower together, bath together, do things together that encourage being naked and unashamed. It is these simple things that will enhance your ability to enjoy sex.

Key #3 - Communicate
Too often we expect our husband to read our minds. We find sex unsatisfying and blame him for not knowing how to satisfy us. The solution is simple, tell him what you need, guide his hand to touch the right places, take time to talk before or after sex about what works and what doesn’t.
      Don’t tell him he doesn’t satisfy you, it will crush him and disable him as a man. The harshest thing you could ever say to a man is that he cannot satisfy you sexually. Be kind, help him to help you enjoy sex.
      There is always Genesis 3:1 just around the corner which comes directly after Genesis 2:25, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman...” Don’t allow the devil to communicate with you! This is where it all went wrong in the first place, the women listened to what the devil had to say. The devil is much more subtle that you even realise! Facebook often has images popping up on my newsfeed of things that I don’t want to see. Jack Wills catalogues are highly charged with subliminal sexual messages to sell their products.
      Most advertisers will admit that sex sells. They know that we are sexual beings and use it to the max to make a sale. Advertisers use this knowledge by trying to associate their products with sexy metaphors, hoping that you become aroused and attach this feeling to their brand in your subconscious mind. It is so subtle you wouldn’t even know that it has happened until you find yourself thinking about it in your bed with your husband.
      It is possible that you don’t relate to this, as men are more affected by the visual side of things than we are, but what about women pornography? Not guilty you think? Women porn is not a glossy magazine full of naked men, it is much more subtle. Romantic fiction, novels, anything that put images in your mind of the perfect guy! It’s not real, it’s a lie and it sets up your sex life for failure. The devil is communicating to you through these books, arousing you sexually through lies and making you expect things from your husband that is not real. Don’t be fooled, women reading secular romantic novels is just as damaging and men looking at porn magazines – they both put lies into our mind and create unrealistic expectations of each other. Keep your sex life pure by not allowing the devil to communicate with you.
      Ask God to protect you from the subtle plans of the devil, ask Him to make you blind to the things of this world so that you can protect your marriage bed as he commanded in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled”

Sex is a beautiful and pure thing created by God for us to enjoy. Make it your mission to find ways to keep your sex life pure, your marriage bed undefiled so that you can have the maximum pleasure from your sexual relationship with your husband. God designed sex for pleasure so when we experience pleasure within our marriage we are pleasing God.

Find out more about Being a Wife here or about hosting your own Girl's Night here
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26.2.12

Being a Wife - Who Chooses Submission

I find the 'women being submissive to men' thing very odd.  It seems a very human thing to try to put limits on what God can do and who He can do things through. Are we really saying that the presence of ovaries means that God won't use a particular person to do his bidding? God doesn't limit us, it seems wrong that we should seek to do it to one another. Am I wrong?”

This was the opening statement in a conversation I had with a woman who was expressing her opinions about submission.  She had read my previous blog post about this subject and was troubled by it.  Our conversation progressed into what I perceive to be a conversation that most women would have these days. 

“This is a common question and a concept that is often abused by men who don't understand it!” I said.

She replied with valid points, “It's an interesting one, I agree. I was worried after writing that I'd appeared rude - I hope not! Anyway, I've discussed this at length with my husband.  He married me because he wanted a partner, someone to go through life together with. He didn't want to bear the responsibility or carry the load alone, which is what this 'submission' idea seems to advocate. At the airport we have a suitcase each and our daughter carries the cabin baggage! There are times when he takes a decision and I submit (his job taking us away from friends and family to a new town for example - I didn't want to, but in that case I submitted to what he wanted) and there are other times when I feel that something is right and he will bend, adapt (the word 'submit' is such a passive one, I don't want to apply it to my husband!) to enable me to do what I need to (adapting his work to facilitate my promotion, for example). We have different strengths, and at different times we compromise for one another. That's what the teamwork of marriage is about. We do it together - we give and take. We don't submit and we don't dominate. I'm not saying our way is right for every couple, but I think the idea of BOTH partners submitting to the marriage, rather than the wife submitting to the husband, is the key.”

Valid points but I continued to keep the debate alive to hear more about her views.

“I agree with everything you have said! We are partners in life. One thing is true though, a man desperately needs to feel respected. Submission is simply a way of showing respect don't you think? To me submission means mostly not being argumentative but to actually listen to my husband - something I am not very good at! It sounds like you have a wonderful and balanced marriage which is why this conversation probably isn't necessary for you, but some marriages could seriously do with a bit of submission. It's horrible to see how some women treat their husbands and make them look small. That is probably where a bit of submission could do wonders.”

She replied with, “I agree - but loud obnoxious bullying men are pretty grim too! It just interests me, this whole 'woman's place' thing. It used to cause me huge problems with the church. Why was I to submit? Why did a Y chromosome make a man responsible for me? Why was his opinion more important than mine? I worry less now, because we've worked out a position that works for us, but I'm still uncomfortable with the "have penis, will dominate" angle!”

Things were getting heated but it was good to be getting to the bottom of it. I continued with the conversation.

“It's not so much 'will dominate' as much as will protect and be stronger, more logical, less emotional, etc. The Y chromosome definitely uses a different part of the brain, I recently read about the science behind how our brain develops - fascinating - I am sure you already know it as you are a science teacher and could probably teach me a thing or two about chromosomes.
We are both equal but one is designed to fulfil a certain role and the other a different role, based on our differences in both brain and body development. It's simply different not one better than the other. 
Doesn't it make sense that if we, man and woman, are built differently both in brain and body, that we are intended for different purposes in a relationship and that being equal in every aspect would limit us tremendously?”

“I agree about the differences, and that therefore trying to be the same as each other is pointless. However, I still don't think it’s right to determine a role in a relationship based on any one aspect.  As for the Corinthians letter, I think Paul was writing at a specific time, to a particular church which was having a specific problem - I'm wary of extrapolating the advice he gave in that situation to personal relationships 2000 years later. I think the key point is the one I made earlier - BOTH partners need to submit to the relationship. Once we all learn to think about the good of our families and our marriages before our own desires we will be building happier homes and societies.”

Interesting don’t you think? It would be so easy for us to debate our way into equal rights and we could comfortably justify that we should not submit in the way we think we should. We could talk our way out of just about anything in the Bible but the fact remains that a woman is to submit to her husband by her own free will. She has to choose to submit to him. I don’t feel like less of a woman because I am a submissive wife. Actually, it’s quite the contrary, I feel like more of a woman because I chose to submit. I feel freer and more beautiful.  What are your thoughts on this subject?

Find out more about Being a Wife here or about hosting your own Girl's Night here.
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22.2.12

TOCP - The Least and the Small

Lorah-Kelly brought a word to our pastors meeting one morning, a simple word but one that would change our perspective as a church. She started by reading a verse from the book of Isaiah. “...the least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord, in its time I will do this swiftly.” - Isaiah 60:22

The Least of You
This could be talking about a small amount of people and could also mean the least of you as in Matthew 25:40 ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ At the time we were least in every possible way. Our attendance numbers were very low and at the same time we were reaching out intensively to homeless people and welcoming them into our church.

The Smallest
This could be talking about a small amount of people or literally the smallest or youngest children. Again, we were smallest in both senses of the word as we were small in numbers and the kids team were doing an excellent job in raising our little ones in kids’ church. Lorah-Kelly then went on to share another verse that has defined us. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”  - Luke 4:18-19

The Blind and Prisoners
This is perhaps not literally blind or actual prisoners but those in bondage who need freedom. Later on that year, about six months after Lorah-Kelly shared this simple word with us, we could see how God was bringing it to pass. We did take some direction from these verses and did what we could to serve ‘the least and the small’ in our community. We made sure that we always considered the street people and made them feel welcome in our church services. On a practical level we invited them into the foyer before church, served them the best coffee possible, the nicest sandwiches and some scrumptious muffins. 

From time to time people questioned our approach saying that we were silly to be spending so much money on these things, but we knew that it was vital that we served ‘the least’ as we would serve Jesus himself. Jesus did say that if we did it to one of the least of these we did it to Him.

We also touched them. This may sound like a silly thing to add but I can’t stress enough the importance of physical touch when loving people. Eric and I made a point, whenever we greeted someone in our church, to look them in the eye and to touch them in some way with a loving physical touch. This often meant hugging a smelly drunk from the street or shaking hands with someone that had clearly not washed their hands in weeks. Yes, it was difficult at first but we simply accepted it as something valuable that we did for the least. It was easy if you saw it as doing it to Jesus - we were hugging Jesus and we were shaking Jesus’ hand.

This is a chapter snippet from The Tale of a Church Planter, to buy a copy and find out what happened next in our adventures go here.
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19.2.12

The Accidental Bride

I was given this book by Thomas Nelson to review and sadly wasn't very impressed.  The story is about a cowgirl whose wedding reenactment turns real and finds out that she’s an accidental bride. The book was a quick read and I although the ending was predictable I did read it until the end to see what actually happened.  At times the story was enoyable and sweet which kept you reading and hoping that things would work out.
   On the whole the plot was predictable and the main characters seemed a bit plain.  It was as if time passed by but they didn't grow or change at all. I remained annoyed with the leading lady and you were not offered an opportunity to like her.  The leading man however was very likeable but also annoying because I expected him to rise up and fight for her, not wimp out all the time.  Even right up to the final chapter their relationship seemed weak - not something that could inspire me. 
   I felt uncomfortable with the romantic scenes as they seemed a bit too much for a Christian novel and they seemed out of place.  Although these scenes were justifiable I would say that the author was really pushing the limits of keeping it Christian.
   On the whole I felt awkward whilst reading this book but could not quite put my finger on why I felt this way.  Perhaps I was over sensitive after what I had written in my recent post about sex and women pornography!  
   Sadly, this is my first negative review of a book and cannot recommend it to you, I hope the author will forgive me for being so harsh but if I were to recommend a fiction book to you I would prefer to recommend The Silent Lady by Catherine Cookson.  Now that book is well worth a read!
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15.2.12

Esther or Delilah?

























An honest look at how women use their beauty to seduce men! Whether you like it or not you are using your beauty for something, but are you using it to empower a man or are you using it in a way that leaves him powerless? Both Esther and Delilah were beautiful women in the Bible. Both women seduced the man in their life. One woman used her beauty to save her people; the other woman used her beauty to destroy her people. Today’s women are no different from Esther and Delilah. Which woman are you?

See fantastic photographs throughout the book and the cover by Lorah-Kelly


Available on: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle

Contents:
Esther’s Story
Delilah’s Story
Esther or Delilah?
Influence
Respect
Submission
Favour
Timing
If I Perish, I Perish
Ruth’s Story
Jezebel’s Story
Ruth or Jezebel?
Patience
Gentleness
Abigail’s Story
Courage
Faithfulness
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13.2.12

Being a Wife - Who Expresses Her Feelings

After last week’s session we realised how important it is to express our feelings to our husbands rather than blow up at him when we feel hurt. One of the essential keys to avoiding unnecessary arguments is clear communication and more importantly the communication of our feelings. 

You see, sometimes what we feel is not actually proportionate to what our husband has communicated. Or equally, our husbands misunderstand how we feel. If he knew how we felt, he might respond differently. Feelings come from our heart and often men speak from their head. We need to become wives who know how to connect what’s in our heart with what is in his head. The ability to do this will prove to be a valuable skill to build a more peaceful marriage. 

More often than not it is true to say that our husbands don’t hate us, in actual fact they want to please us. Many times they feel suffocated because they perceive what we say to them as controlling. Men hate the feeling of being controlled! If we are wise women, we will learn to express how we feel rather than command a change in any given area. If our husbands understand how his actions affect us, he will be more willing to make adjustments. If he feels controlled or that change is demanded from him, he will sink his heals in and refuse. The result of this is usually an argument, isn’t it? 

The Bible gives us a tip on effective communication in Proverbs 15:1 where it says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If we can master the art of speaking with soft words then we can avoid a great deal of ugliness and anger in our marriage. Here is a very simple and practical example of how expressing our feelings can turn our husband from feeling attacked and withdrawing to rising up and wanting to be the hero.

Expressing your need

Wife: “You never wash the car anymore, why?”
Husband: “Everyone eats in the car and constantly messes it up, there is no point.”
Wife: “You need to wash the car, it is disgusting.”

In this example the wife has enough on her plate with managing the house, the kids schedule and her job. She feels it is reasonable to expect her husband to at least clean the car. For some reason he stopped cleaning the car and point blank refuses to do it anymore. In the illustration above the wife communicates her need and the husband interprets the need that is not being met as his failure. He is left feeling useless which disables him. She is left feeling frustrated which makes her grumpy and no fun to be around.

Expressing your feelings about the need

Wife: “I love it when you clean the car for us, it makes me feel important to you. I see you are not doing it anymore, which makes me feel like I am not important to you anymore. ”
Husband: “I didn’t know it made you feel that way, I will do my best to clean the car soon.”

In this conversation, which is similar to the first one, the wife expresses her needs without a hint of attacking the husband which causes him time rise up and be the hero.
The illustration is a simple one but the principle of expressing your feelings, using soft words rather than angry words, is effective for all of your needs. He might even express his needs and feelings which can also help you understand his perspective. The conversation could go as follows:

Wife: “I love it when you clean the car for us, it makes me feel important to you. I see you are not doing it anymore, which makes me feel like I am not important to you anymore. ”
Husband: “I didn’t know it made you feel that way, but I feel disrespected by our family as I have repeatedly asked that we don’t eat in the car to keep it clean and free from nasty smells, but no one has listened to me. I feel ignored and disrespected.”

It’s easier to see a simply solution now isn’t it. The family need to respect the husband and not eat in the car and the husband needs to take care of the car so that his wife can feel looked after by him.

John Maxwell, in his book ‘Winning with People’ , suggests that when we are facing confrontation we should outline the issue. He says, “When it’s your turn to speak and to make yourself understood, it’s important that you take a positive approach. Here’s what I suggest:

• Describe your perceptions. In the beginning, stay away from conclusions and/or statements about the other person’s motives. Just tell what you think you see, and describe the problem you think it’s causing.
• Tell how this makes you feel. If the other person’s actions make you angry or frustrated or sad, express it clearly and without accusation.
• Explain why this is important to you. Many times when a person finds out that something is a priority to you, that is enough to make him want to change.

Engaging in this process without emotional heat or bitterness is essential. You don’t have to turn off your emotions; you just need to make sure you don’t verbally assault the person you’re confronting.”

Eric and I have put this into practice and it has worked wonders in our marriage. I highly recommend Winning with People, especially this chapter on ‘The Confrontation Principle’.

Find out more about Being a Wife here or about hosting your own Girl's Night here.
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9.2.12

Nature's Way - Mouthwash

Mouthwash companies are quick to tell you that their product kills germs, prevents plaque and bad breath. What they don’t tell you is that more than 20% of their product is alcohol and long-term use of their mouthwash increases the risk of mouth and throat cancers. 

Melbourne University conducted a study of more than 3,200 people, which found a nine-fold increase in risk of cancer among smokers and a five-fold rise among drinkers. The ethanol in mouthwash is thought to help cancer-causing substances – such as nicotine – permeate the mouth lining.

The following table shows the health concerns based on commonly used mouthwash.


Nature’s Way Alternatives

Mouthwash is simply for flushing your mouth to remove waste that is trapped. If you teeth and tongue are brushed correctly you don’t need anything as harsh as alcohol to rinse your mouth. Something as simple as warm salt water will do the job just fine and from there the body’s normal reparative process will take over. Our bodies naturally repair our gums and bones, the harsh products that we often use hinder this natural process. The best thing we can do is not get in the way and keep our dental hygiene routine as simple as possible.
Vinegar is another powerful plaque destroying mouthwash and can be used in the same way as salt, diluted in a cup of water.
If you would like a bit of taste or minty fragrance, add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil with the salt or vinegar water.

Results:
• Enhanced oral hygiene
• Kill germs and bacteria
• Fresh breath
• Treatment for mouth infections and ulcers
• Save money

Cautions:
• Damaged enamel

Take care when using vinegar though, it should be diluted with a plenty water as the acid can damage the enamel on your teeth if the concentration is too strong. After using a vinegar mouthwash or toothpaste rinse well with water to flush away any remaining acid.

NATURE’S WAY MOUTHWASH

Ingredients: 
Vinegar or salt

Method: 
Dilute 1 teaspoon of vinegar or salt in a glass of warm water and use daily as a mouthwash.

For added freshness add a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to your vinegar or salt water.

Now it's your turn.
Over the next few weeks try using Nature's Way mouthwash instead of your regular mouthwash and let us know the results by posting your findings in the comment box below.  If you have any other tips or suggestions for a mouthwash please let us know.  

Find out more about Nature's Way here.
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8.2.12

TOCP - A Wolf and Abandonment

It was 2am and we were still sitting in our living chatting with the two young men that might well have been our future sons-in-law. Perhaps that was looking too far ahead, but as a mother, I was always on the lookout for potential husbands for my girls. Very ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I know, but unless you are a mother with young ladies at home, you will never understand the insane drive within a mother to find a suitable match for her girls. 

Lorah-Kelly, Jordan, Eric and I sat with the boys and were glad that we had finally met some Christians that seemed to be mature in their faith. Up until this point, we had struggled along with raising the lost and the baby Christians that were born in our church. Determined not to build a church on transfer growth, we pushed forward with what and whom we had.  It was a relief though, to think that perhaps God was sending some labourers to us, to help us with our work. 

We began spending more and more time with these two young boys and were quite sure that they were sent as helpers to help us stir up our young teenage believers. Very quickly we began to bond and it wasn’t long before they started bringing their friends and family to church. We were thrilled, not only were they mature Christians but they were also bringers. 

At the same time we started relying heavily on another family that joined us as soon as the church was launched. They too had been Christians for some time and they were also bringing their friends and family to church. We were growing steadily and everything looked great. For the sake of privacy we will change everyone’s names in this chapter, let’s call the two young boys Matt and Sam and the family the Smiths. 

We also discovered that Matt and Sam, along with their friends and family, were well acquainted with the Smiths too. It all seemed good, everyone knew everyone and they were all getting along very well. Everything seemed fine and dandy, people were getting saved almost every Sunday and church was growing steadily each week. We trusted Matt and Sam with our daughters and allowed them to go out together to socialise. Great friendships were forming and there was nothing to be concerned about, or so we thought.

It wasn’t long before we allowed the Smiths to host a connect group and to lead in our church. They truly were a wonderful family and they had been with us since the beginning, so it made sense to allow them to grow into a leadership role.

Matt and Sam started meeting up with our young Christians for Bible study so that they could help them find their way. We didn’t offer the sort of ‘thing’ they were doing ‘officially’ in our church but we figured that there would be no harm in a bunch of young people getting together to study the Bible and pray for each other. It was quite nice actually; it took the pressure off of us to keep finding new and creative ways to ‘feed’ them. 

After some time we noticed that the young Christians were not doing so well. We could not put a finger on it but the fruit simply didn’t seem good. A few weeks after we started to feel concerned we were alerted that the Smith’s were hosting a Bible study in their home for all our young teenage Christians. Again, probably not something that should raise a concern, but we were concerned because it was being led by Matt and Sam’s father. Their father was not a member of our church and had openly come against Eric and I as leaders, as well as against the pastor who had released us to plant our church. 

We called the Smith’s in for a meeting and lovingly explained our concerns and that as leaders in our church; they really shouldn’t start things up without at least chatting to us about it first. The content of the Bible studies were discussed which raised further concerns as it turned out that they were being taught exclusively about the end times and Revelations - not a subject that we would jump into with new Christians. 

The Smith’s received what we had to say very well and agreed with our concerns. According to their own free will they stopped the Bible study at their home as they realised that it was doing more damage than good. This of course infuriated Matt and Sam’s father as he could not understand why they felt that they had to do this. He continued to visit the Smith’s home almost daily to try and ‘teach’ them about the Bible and the error of their ways with regards to rejecting his Bible study. He also made it very clear that Eric and I were not fit to lead a church. A few weeks passed and we discovered that the new Christians were confused about many things. They came to us with questions but sadly some of them went back to Matt and Sam’s father for guidance. 

It wasn’t long before Matt and Sam became upset with our rejection of their father. After many long debates in person and very long emails with them, they left our church. They stayed in touch with our daughters and most of the teenagers and then began stirring the teenagers up against us. Soon the teenagers started leaving our church too. Many of them were totally confused and had lost the way of their simple faith. They had too many unanswered questions. Questions that really didn’t need answers but the teaching they received blinded them to the simple love of Jesus and opened up a theological can of worms – something they were not ready to deal with.
Eric and I were grieved. 


This is a chapter snippet from The Tale of a Church Planter, to buy a copy and find out what happened next in our adventures go here.
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6.2.12

Being a Wife - Who Does Not Retaliate

He was nailed to a rough, wooden cross. A punishment only fit for the vilest of criminal, he hung there innocently.
Blood dripping from his brow.
Excruciating pain shooting through every part of His body.
Amidst all the physical pain, He endured a much worse pain, the pain of words.
His eyes looked at them with the deepest compassion as they mocked Him and flung insults at Him. Shouting out things such as, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!” and “Come down from the cross and save yourself”. They spat at Him and mocked Him as He hung innocently on the cross, dying.
What was Jesus response to all this? “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Jesus had every reason to retaliate but He didn’t. He had every right to justify Himself but He didn’t. In fact He had quite the opposite response. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
Jesus is our ultimate example of how to behave when our husbands throw insults at us. In an ideal world that would never happen but our husbands are men on a journey and at times they make mistakes. Sadly, they are often mistakes that can hurt us. Thankfully, we can find a solution so that we don’t get hurt.
Do you know the saying, “hurt people hurt people”? It is true. When we feel hurt, our instant reaction is to hurt back – to retaliate. At times, our husbands do or say things that hurt us. We react by hurting him back and before you know it an argument erupts or we run off crying.

There is another way. This way will take a lot of discipline and strength at first, but once you get into the habit it will be very rewarding.
At times, when I get hurt, my response is, “You would not be so mean to me if you knew who you were dealing with! I am very important to my Daddy.” Not the perfect response I know, but it helps me remember that the words said to me are not true, they are his opinion but my Daddy in heaven has a totally different opinion of me. At the same time, it creates an awareness that he is messing with the daughter of God – not a good idea!

You see, we could absorb our husband's dysfunction that caused them to be mean to me or we could reject it by remembering that he is just a man on a journey, trying to do the best he can with his life. And he makes mistakes along the way.

Jesus had the perfect response though. He did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. We need to do the same. We should not retaliate and when we suffer we should make no threats. Instead, we can entrust ourselves to Him who judges justly. Know who you are. Know that often people say things about you that are not true. Know that you can bounce these things off and not let them get into your heart by entrusting God, who judges justly. 

At times the insults are true and the truth hurts. When it should have been said in a loving, tender way, it was said in anger. Even though he was wrong in how he said it, what he said might be true and we can still learn from it. I have on many occasions. If our husbands say something, we should consider it. Perhaps consider it after some time has passed when you are feeling less hurt, but do consider what he says. When he is wrong just shrug it off and leave it as his problem, when he is right, do your best to work on it.

The final thing that Jesus did, that we can apply to our marriages too, is to have compassion on our husbands. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. He said this out of deep compassion for them. He saw their sorry state and felt overwhelmed with love for them. In the same way, ask God to forgive your husband, because he too does not know what he was doing. If he truly knew who you were, he would not mess with you but treat you like the princess that you are. But, our husbands have not had the full revelation of our value yet, so forgive him, he does not really know what he is doing. 

Not retaliating is something that requires constant practice. Sometimes you will get it right and other times you will fail. It’s OK. Keep trying. Ask God to give you a revelation of who your husband is. He is the son of the King, a very valuable man. Finally, don’t forget to ask God for help with not retaliating. It is not a normal, human response and so has to be a supernatural one. But, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. 

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