How to NOT be a Nagging Wife

posted in: marriage, mothering | 0

We have a Tudor style home – one with large peaks on its corner  As we were trying to see about getting the siding replaced this past weekend, I realized how I would never want my husband up on that roof.  How dangerous would that be.

That brings new light to this Proverb: “Better to live on the corner of a roof, then to share a house with a nagging wife.”

How would you say you are in the nagging area?  Nagging can be so much more than just pestering your husband to take out the trash or pick up his socks.

I’ve learned something about this this past weekend as well.  My husband can sense when I am upset ( I don’t have a very good poker face), and more times than not he knows why I am down or struggling.  We’ve only been married for less than two years, but he knows me well (and sometimes, that’s very scary).

But, I could have either chosen to say something about what it was that was bothering me, and therefore make him feel even worse about said subject, which we’ve had many conversations about – or I could choose to praise him and give thanks to him and shower him with blessings for everything he does for me and how godly of a husband and worship pastor and father he is.

Which do you think is better?

Nagging or praising?

I remember watching the movie classic, If a Man Answers, one in which the MIL wants her daughter to begin treating her husband like a dog to see if his behavior changes any.  Most dog owners will tell you that dogs can be trained with rewards, love, scratching behind the ears, etc.

I’m not saying that is the way to go – more than likely – when you start praising your husband, you will find the things you are unhappy about will change or disappear altogether.

The Bible also tells us to speak words or encouragement to those around us, respect our husbands (nagging doesn’t fall in the respect category), and speak well of them to others.  If we are constantly nagging or thinking poorly of our husbands, won’t that come out in our speech to others?  However, if we are constantly loving our husbands well with our speech, then others will follow suit.

Don’t we want to encourage others to walk in love and good deeds?

And how important are the socks on the floor anyway?

A Wife’s Idol: Her Husband’s Happiness

posted in: marriage | 0


A hot cup of morning coffee?  20 minutes alone when he comes home from work in the evenings?  His favorite dessert for his birthday?  A night out with the boys?  A Saturday alone to watch all the college football games and finish it up with all the recaps on SportsCenter? 

Do you know what makes your husband happy?  Happiest?

E and I have a lot of good conversations on the couch.  I love talking with him, very softly most of time (will be harder to do that when we get older if he starts to lose his hearing), just living life with him.  In a recent conversation, he said this to me: “Don’t make my happiness and idol.  Search for your own joy in your pursuit of God.”

That was a receptive rebuke. 

Look here for all the times joy is used in the Psalms alone.  What a rebuke by the words of the Spirit.  So many times wives (or girlfriends) find their joy or happiness in their significant other.  This can’t be the case.  If so, that person or relationship has become an idol to us.  Yes, we are supposed to do what we can do make our husbands happy, live with him in harmony, pursue peace and Christ together.  But, in no way should we feel the blame for when we are doing our part and other situations in life are difficult – for a season.  We can’t be mainly responsible for our husband’s happiness.  He has to find his ultimate happiness in God and God alone – just like we do.

Why do you think that you can be your husband’s happiness?  I’m not saying he should be miserable when he is around you – and I hope the wedded bliss of the honeymoon lasts forever in your marriage (and mine)…but if we aren’t happy in Christ – with or without our husbands – then we have made something else God in our life and are leaving out the most important LIFEsource.

Photo: This was taken on our honeymoon in Philadelphia at a place called Bonte’ Waffles.  A breakfast that made both E and me happy!


Guest Post: Abbey Cooler: Finding Balance

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Christmastime is a little frazzled isn’t it?  Lines are longer, traffic is more congested, seems like everyone is a little crankier, money is tighter (oh, but the credit cards)…my friend Abbey Cooler wrote a blog post about balance: especially for wives and mothers, but you can take the principles and use them no matter what stage of life you are in.  Be encouraged, friends.

Finding Balance

Laundry, dishes, meals, playgroups, date nights and time with family and do we maintain the balance? Who in scripture can we look to for direction and instruction?

Like many Christian women, I grew up in the church and grew up hearing about the great Proverbs 31 woman (Proverbs 31:10-31). This seeming perfect woman has been drilled into my head. . I grew up going to Sunday School, choir, GA’s, Wednesday night supers and youth retreats. I was saved at the age of eight but I have been a Baptist since birth. Every year on Mother’s Day I heard messages on “her”. Every youth trip and college retreat I ever attended would have a “girls only” session, and we were given instruction on how to become the Proverbs 31 women. During my single days in my twenties I read every book that Lifeway or the Family Christian Bookstore carried on becoming the Proverbs 31 women. Then in 2006 I became a wife and in 2008 I became a mother. Then all my knowledge I had and all the plans I had made about being the perfect woman went out the window!

Before I had my daughter I always said that when I become a mother, my house will stay spotless, my child will follow every word of Babywise and I will NEVER leave the house without looking like I just walked out of an Ann Taylor catalogue. I was never going to be one of those “frumpy, stay at home moms”. Then I actually had a baby, who was premature, on a three hour feeding schedule, and who had gas, constipation and reflux! One afternoon I realized we were out of diapers and formula and I needed to run up to the local grocery store. I got dressed, got my daughter ready, and headed to Kroger! I took my time in the store, bought the formula and diapers, and went back out to my car. As I was about to pull out of the parking space, I looked in my review mirror. That is when I notice the dried sweet potato in my eye brow! So much for being the perfect, Proverbs 31 woman who has her life balanced and figured out!

After that embarrassing but funny incident at the local Kroger, I thought to myself, “It’s time to regroup”. How can I can I complete everything on my “to do list”, spend time with my friends, family, husband and child, and maintain a dynamic walk with the Lord. As I thought about and prayed about my “regroup”, three “P’s” came to my mind. Even though it has been eight years since I finished seminary I have a hard time giving an explanation without using three points (or four points in this case) and alliteration!

1. Plan: Plan meals, plan your grocery list, plan your days, plan when you will do housework, put plans on your calendar and plan ahead for all things unexpected. By making plans you can take the seemingly endless to do list that we all have in our lives, and break it down into smaller chunks of times, so we do not get overwhelmed. Like my mother always told me, “Plan your work and work your plan”!

2. People: It is so very important to maintain the relationships with those special people in your life. They are your family, friends, husband and children. Make time in your daily, weekly and monthly life in order to grow, nurture and invest in to these relationships. This can be a playgroup with friends, date night with your husband, or celebrating special occasions with family members.

3. Perspective: At the end of the day, have the right perspective. When your child is eighteen, graduates from high school and moves from under your roof, what will they remember? Will they remember your house being spotless, eating organic, homemade food for every meal, and their clothes always being perfectly pressed or will they remember that you loved them unconditionally and invested in their lives?

4. Pray: Above all, cover your family, friends, household, spouse, children, with prayer. God has commanded us to pray without ceasing. You can pray at each red light, over your children while they sleep, at mealtime with your family, and all throughout the day. By seeking God and His will first, everything else in your life will fall into place.

So while you and I continue to try and strive to become a well balance woman, like the the Proverbs 31 women, we need to give ourselves a break. It is okay to stop and have a cup of coffee and read a book during naptime instead of making, cleaning or picking up something. It is okay after a difficult day, to run by Little Caesars and pick up at $5 pizza. You and I need to remember that God’s grace is sufficient and we need to give ourselves some, each and every day!

Wives vs Dogs

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The old saying goes “a dog is a man’s best friend” – but is a dog a better spouse?

The new country song hitting the airwaves, climbing the charts, might make men reconsider marrying, and encourage them to go down to their county’s SPCA branch instead.

Curly-haired, country hit singer, Billy Currington has another winner on his hands.  At least in the minds of country record execs.  Here are the lyrics:

He never tells me that he’s sick of this house
He never says why don’t you get off that couch?
He dont cost me nothin when he wants to go out
I want you to love me like my dog

He never says I need a new attitude
Him and my sister ain’t always in a feud
When I leave the seat up he don’t think that
it’s rude I want you to love me like my dog does Baby

When I come home, I want you to just go crazy
He never looks at me like he might hate me
I want you to love me like my dog

He never acts like he don’t care for my friends
He never asks me “Where ‘n the hell have you been?”
He don’t play dead when I want to pet him
I want you to love my like my dog does,

He never says, “I wish you made more money”
He always thinks that pull my finger’s funny
I want you to love me like my dog

He don’t get made at me and throw a major fit
When I say his sister is a b*

Here are my FIVE QUESTIONS for wives, just some things to consider:

1.  Do you constantly nag or complain to your husband?  It could be about his friends, job, schedule, schooling, ministry responsibilities, or his salary.  I am not saying you should never share your opinions or question a friendship he has (especially if you see it leading your husband away from God), but does your husband actually enjoy hearing you talk because complaints don’t always come out of your mouth?  Scripture: Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:9, Prov 27:15, Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:33

2.  Are you demanding of the finer things in life?  Are you satisfied with what you have and what your husband has provided for you and your family?  Right now my husband has asked me for my birthday and Christmas list.  As I say “I want…” I think about these questions.  These aren’t even expensive items, but still living in a state of “pinterest” desires.  Scripture: Ps 145:16, Isaiah 55:2, Matthew 6:24-34

3.  Do you get along with his family?  Does he often feel like he has to choose between you and his mother/father/siblings?  Do you strive to live in peace with everyone, even if you don’t get to have your way all the time?  Often times, parents are the most important relationship to a husband outside of his own wife/children.  Do you make that relationship easy or hard by your attitude?  Scripture: Colossians 3:20, Romans 12:18

4.  Do you make him glad to come home?  Or do you look horrible (no make up, bathrobe, dirty clothes), smell bad (have you brushed your teeth or put on deodarant today), or bombard him with how bad your day has been?  Let him come in the door, breathe for 15 minutes, give him a hug and kiss, try to be home when he arrives, be a good aroma for him.  Scripture: Titus 2:4-5

5.  Do you ignore/refuse his sexual advances?  Does he even bother trying to “come on” to you anymore because you have negated or swat his hand every time he has tried?  Are you willing to give him sometime in the morning or evening, if he so desires?  Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7

Play Your Position – Mark Chanski

posted in: Books, Women | 2

A retired soccer coach talks to women.  It was a pep talk, a halftime hoorah speech.

Mark Chanski spoke last night at Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC.  I went to hear him after reading some of both of his books, Manly Dominion and Womanly Dominion during my years at SBTS.  I also wanted to go because I’ve recently been married so I wanted to be encouraged in my now-role as wife and helpmeet.

Mark Chanski is a husband, father, and pastor in Holland, MI.  He writes from three decades worth of husband-experience and shares his discernments from God’s Word in both of his books. 

1.  Play Your Position

2.  Win It!

Those were both of his exhortations to us ladies (ranging from 11-80ish).  (Side note: I was very thankful to see females from every age group.  True Titus 2 living!)  Pastor Mark would spend the next 45 minutes broadening his meaning of these two coach’s screams.

Womanly Dominion Culturally Challenged.

The Word of God is true and unchanging, living and active.  So, why would we think God’s commands and prescriptions for us as females would not come under attack by a world that doesn’t consider truth to be absolute?  The serpent under-minded God’s spoken word in Genesis when he confronted Eve’s understanding of God’s goodness.  The serpent still undermines God’s truth today.  But, God’s Word stands firm and will never fail.

The culture around us wants to challenge our personal intensity.  No matter the age – we will be bombarded with problems in this area:

In high school, we will be challenge by either extreme: set our minds and focus on the best GPA possible (at the cost of all other objectives) or to slouch and not do our best.  We will be tempted to not pursue callings and gifts that we have because the world will tell us that they are not a worthy cause.

In college, we may be tempted by a professor to pursue a PhD (which is not evil in its own merit) to the dismissal of marriage, which is obviously a patriachal institution.

As single women, we will be tempted to go forward in relationships that aren’t pleasing to the Lord or to be the pursuer in relationships – not willing to wait on God’s perfect timing in His giving us all good gifts (Romans 8:32).

As married women, we will be tempted to run hard after everything we can, forgetting we are called to be a helper suitable to our mates, a wife of a husband.  We will be tempted to have our homes live up to the latest Pinterest home or Pottery Barn catalogue. 

Chanski encouraged us no matter the assignment in life – to be tough minded, sober-minded in that and fulfill our assignment with excellence.

We will also hear the world questioning the positional authority God has given to us.  We need to be firm where God has assigned us and not let the world and all of its lies lead us astray.  God has called each of us to where we are.  It might change (like mine just did, more on that later), but God never changes.  Listen for His voice.

Womanly Dominion Scripturally Expounded.  Mark stayed in two verses for the evening: Genesis 1:27-28. 

Domination.  Since we have been created in the image of God, that is a given statement, we are to be like him.  In these verses, we are to be like him in our “bringing into bondage” the earth.  Subdue the earth, work the earth.  Before God spoke the world into creation – the earth was without form and void.  Since creation, it has order and design.  We are to not let our “given assignments” be chaotic or out of control.  That is not how we are to be like God, mirroring and imaging our Creator.

Procreation.  Through childbearing – we women (men can’t have babies, deliver babies – though we need them in the process) – we get to participate in salvation.  We get to have children that will help populate the earth who will be part of the throng around the throne from every tribe, tongue, and nation.  After the Fall, Eve’s “punishment” came in the form of pain during childbearing.  I was reading this morning that even though there is pain, motherhood is still worth it (and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity one day).  In the focal verses: we are giving the command and sacred focus on filling the earth.  What questions does that raise?  How many childrend should one couple have?  Should you/must you adopt?  What about sexual protection from pregnancy or medical help to seek out infertitlity.  This one verse touches on so many familial and birth ethics in today’s society.

Position.  Chanski affirmed our sameness in essence with men.  We are not higher or lower – we have just been given a different position.  He spoke briefly on the Trinity and how their positions in the Godhead give us great insight into our position as women – same in being, different in position.  To see more on that topic, see Bruce Ware’s book: Father, Son, Holy SpiritWe are not to be androginous which society would like us to lean toward: women in battle, women playing men’s sports, men wearing skinny jeans or wearing earrings, parents raising their children “sexless” until they can determine what they want to be.  We see it.  This denial of the truth of sexuality.  There is diversity in function in the created sexual genders. God has a beautiful plan for males and females.  He does all for His glory.

So, in a nut shell: know and play your position.  Don’t assume your position.  Know it.  Trust it.  Make sure it lines up with the Word of God.  Then, play your position with all your might as unto the Lord and not unto men.

Here are my take home moments.  My encouragement from my husband was to listen for the Shepherd’s voice.

1.  Assignment.  As we have been studying 1 Corinthians 7 this week in home fellowship group, I have been thinking about my current assignment.  It has changed.  I am not a wife, a helper (hopefully) suitable to E.  That is my primary role that God has given me.  How is it different from being a single living to the glory of God.  Being a wife living for the glory of God is quite different.  My brain goes a million miles a minute imagining the judgment and expectations from those around me.  I need to listen to the Word, listen to E, and listen to wise counsel around me (and not the voices in my head).

2.  A new book that I’ll be reading is Excellence by Kostenberger.  I’m very much looking forward to the hard read.  And that was Chanski’s whole entire second point – Win it!  Play your position with excellence.  So…how do I keep my home with excellence?  How do I love and serve my husband with excellence?  How will my relationships with friends change but still be lived with excellence? 

3.  My only caution: women – don’t focus too much on the domination.  When I think of the word domination I think of ego, power, complete control, mean-spirited, take over.  While E has given me “domination” over the keep of the home (meaning, he tells me the home is my domain), he is meaning that to be a blessing.  So, while I have complete “domination” over the menu each week, that doesn’t mean I should fail to get his imput.  That domination needs to still be lived out under our husband’s authority and the grace of God.

Play your position and win it!


Mahaney on What is Precious

posted in: Books, Quotes | 0

One of my top ten books of all times…look forward to going through it with a sweet friend this year:

“Remember that we vowed in our wedding ceremony to love and to cherish till death do us part?  Do we even understand what we promised to do?  To cherish means to hold dear, to care for tenderly or to nurture, to cling fondly to, or treat as precious.”

(Carolyn Mahaney, Feminine Appeal, pg 44)

Living the Gospel: Marriage, Adoption, and the Rest of Life

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This is me thinking aloud…
There are some focuses right now in Christianity/churches that focus on being living, breathing examples of the gospel. These focuses are biblical and needed, and true. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these emphasises. One is marriage and the other is adoption. Marriage, for some (and I don’t believe this view is right) allows you to better display the gospel than being single. I think it may give a you different way of displaying the gospel, but not better. I am, in my singleness, just as much a portrait of the gospel of Christ as if I were me, only married. Adoption, many times I here (and rightly so), is “living the gospel”. You are, yes, praise the Lord. But, again, like marriage – adoption isn’t the only way to “live the gospel.”
With so much emphasis on both marriage and adoption – which single people can’t do either of (obviously we aren’t married and not many adoption agencies will let a single person adopt a baby) – are we not living out the gospel. This post isn’t just for singles, it is for everyone.

Marriage is a great way to live out the gospel. I love the Ephesians 5 passage where clearly it says that marriage proclaims the mystery of Christ and His church. We are the Bride of Christ. I love the picture of Abraham and God in Genesis 15 about God walking through the sacrificial blood. His promise kept. I pray that your marriage is an amazing mirror of God, Christ, the Spirit – and the Church. I pray that husbands will sanctify their wives, and wives would respect, honor, and submit to their husbands. This is unique and special and privileged way to portray the gospel.

Adoption. This is probably the newest “fad” to hit the church. I don’t use fad in a bad way, but why has this emphasis not been in the church before the last 5 years? Have we been ignoring the commands of “true religion” in the Bible for over 2000 years. I hope it isn’t a fad. I hope the trend of seeing adoption come to life in American families, and families all over continues long after I’m gone. I wonder if you see Italian Christians adopting American children. I wonder if the trend of adoption is an American Western Christianity thing right now. To some people, if you haven’t adopted, then you just aren’t living in obedience. At least that is what it seems like. But, there are other ways to live out the command of true religion – to take care of the orphans – without actually adopting. You can give to mission trips that support orphanages, you can donate to families who are trying to raise support to adopt their own babies. It seems the trend now in my emails, blogs, facebook updates from across the world – hey, give to me, we’re adopting. Family of believers? Hopefully, mostly, being the body of Christ. There are girls out there who don’t want to have their own children because adoption is better. Motherhood is great, and if God allows you to have children, please do. If God calls you to adopt, please do. But, one is not better than the other. I hope this isn’t a passing trend in American Christianity, much like the WWJD bracelets and FAITH Evangelism strategy.

Now, what about for the rest of us. I hope I do get to live out the gospel in a marriage one day – but I’m not going to settle for an average marriage. I want the most God-glorifying marriage I can possibly have. one that will be hard, but joyful. I know marriage is hard – not perfect – just God-glorifying.
If God impresses on our hearts to adopt, then I will (hopefully, walking in obedience), but until then I can give to missions to orphanages and support those adopting. I can love on those adopted children.
But, I can live out the gospel every day too. I can give grace where grace is needed. I can live in the love that Christ offered me at the Cross. I can do my work diligently. I can submit to authority. I can…. the list goes on. I am Christ’s friend – obey my commands (John 15.14).
Marriage and adoption is not a better picture of the gospel. We can live out the gospel without doing these specific things (being married, adopting an international child). But, these two ways and living daily life in the grace of God are wonderful ways to live out the gospel.
“What about the practical stuff? Surely there comes a time when we move on from the gospel just a little, so we can focus on the everyday issues of our relationships with other people. This is tempting to believe, but it’s just not true. Regardless of your relationship to others, whether you’re single or married, a husband or a wife, a father, a mother, or a grandparent, your faithfulness and effectiveness in your relationship are directly tied to your understanding of the cross.” – CJ Mahaney