October 11, 2015

Is Jesus Lord Over Your Marriage?

**** Winner of Glynnis’ book announced at the end of this post****

What does it mean to call Jesus “LORD?”

Just after Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He said, “You call Me ‘Master’ and ‘LORD,’ and you are right, because that is what I am” (John 13:13). Jesus then follows that statement with these words:

“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

So what does Jesus’ title “LORD” really mean in our lives?

As I researched, I struggled with where God took me.

“LORD” is from the Greek, “kyrios,”  and means ruler and owner, one that has authority over us.

When we call Jesus LORD, we are confessing, with our mouths and our hearts, that we believe Him to be the ultimate authority over our lives. In the first century, an ordinary servant obeyed his master’s direction without objection. He addressed his lord with complete and utter respect. No matter what the master asked of him, he obeyed … period … no matter how tired, how difficult, no matter the consequences, no matter the pain.

This really made me think … when I address Jesus as my LORD, do I respond with this same attitude? Am I saying to Him, LORD, you have authority over every area of my life and no matter what You ask, I will obey. 

Oh, how I wish I could say that!!! But I don’t. And what God brought me face to face with was my marriage. Most especially, in my role as Monty’s wife. What I found is that I fall so short.

God’s Word gives me clear instruction:


“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands” (1 Peter 3:1). Personalizing this verse, it says: Wendy, in the same way, you must accept the authority of your husband.

Now, did you notice the four little words that precede that instruction: In the same way? What way? To what is Peter referring?

We must go back a few verses to 1 Peter 2:18-21 to find our answer. This is where Peter addresses the relationship between slaves and masters:

“You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you – not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow His.” 

So, in the same way slaves accept the authority of their masters, we who are wives must accept the authority of our husbands.

Don’t run off yet, please. I know I wanted to!! It’s hard to read these words. But God gives us more teaching on this topic. And we need all the teaching to understand His initial instruction to us.

So, what is that “example” we must follow? Pay attention. The words are VERY POWERFUL …

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly (1 Peter 3:22-23).

As wives, we are to submit, to accept our husband’s authority … NOT as one who is “less than,” but as one who submits and respects out of honor to God.

And guess what, God calls husbands to submit as well. How do we know that? Because back in Ephesians just before Paul tells wives to submit, he writes these words to husbands and wives:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Both husband and wife are to submit to each other to honor Jesus and His role in their marriage.

Husbands are called to …

“give honor to your wives … treat them with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life” (1 Peter 3:7).

“be considerate as you live with your wives … treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life.” 

Oh, my feathers ruffled a little when I saw the word “weaker.” But rather than get angry, I did a word study of “weak” to determine exactly what Peter meant when he used it here. When Peter used the term weaker here, he refers NOT to moral stamina, strength of character, or mental capacity, but to physical and emotional strength. The Greek word for weak here is asthenestero and refers to physical and emotional weakness.

Friend, I see this as God calling men to be tender-hearted and loving toward their wives, honoring who God made them to be. Peter goes on to tell husbands to treat their wives this way so that nothing hinders your prayers.

Oh, these can be difficult words to read as a wife. Or at least they were for me.

And if you think the commands in Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 are too difficult to obey, you are right … they are … in our own strength! The good news is that with God’s Holy Spirit living within us, empowering us, we are more than able!! Not only are we able, but God promises when we do obey that BLESSINGS FLOW FROM OUR OBEDIENCE!

These verses today caused me to pause and ask if Jesus really is LORD over my marriage. And although my husband and I both believe in Jesus. We pray for each other and our children. We attend worship. Do Bible studies. We both love the Lord.

But, as for me, I confess I have not allowed Jesus to fully be LORD over my heart and my attitude as a wife.

In fact,  I have a long way to go!! My sharp tongue, my controlling behavior, and my unwillingness to submit in certain areas (especially when it comes to our kids) really show me that I need some one on one time with God in this area.

I would love to hear your thoughts on what area of your life you struggle with making JESUS LORD OVER ALL. Leave a comment today and share your hard place. I will choose one name to win a copy of my book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner. Leave your comment before Tuesday at midnight. I will announce the winner on my blog with a prayer for us Wednesday morning.

Hidden_Joy_Cover_Graphic (1)

***** The Winner of Glynnis’ book, Taming the To-Do List, is

Nancy who posted on September 29th at 9:08 am. *****

Congratulations, Nancy! Please e-mail me with your full name and e-mail address so that I can send you your book!


August 20, 2015

Prayer for our Children and our Schools

Each year as children and teachers head back to school, my heart turns toward prayer. Please join me in storming the gates of heaven on behalf of our precious children and their teachers!



Heavenly Father,

We pray the Armor of God over our children and their teachers:  the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, and the shoes of the gospel of peace.

Father, plant Your love, Your presence, and Your Word deep within their hearts.  May Your Word reach into the marrow of their bones and ignite a passion that is unquenchable.  Cause them to love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and let NOTHING override that passion.

Father, as they spend their days at school, let them be set apart.  May they be light in darkness, joy in sadness, peace in discontent, and order in chaos.  Let their character and integrity shine forth like the sun!

In their schools, Father, we pray that Your Word and the fear of the Lord would be the basis of wisdom and instruction.  Father, we ask that You take our prayers and blanket each school, placing them under the shadow of Your wing.

For those teachers that believe in You, strengthen them and uphold them with Your mighty right hand.  Father, give them an extra measure of wisdom, knowledge, and revelation to excel as teachers and shine in darkness.  Provide them with opportunities to share their faith with faculty, staff, and administration and give them the courage to do it.

We pray for every level of administration.  We pray for wisdom beyond comprehension as they make decisions for the schools and school systems.  We pray divine direction.  We pray that You would direct the steps of those making decisions for our children.  Make Your way clear and place those who walk with You in places of authority and decision-making.  Bless their efforts.  Give them favor.

Through Young Life, church youth groups, and other student ministries, use leaders and students to sweep each school with revival and evangelism.  Guide, bless, and empower the leaders and students through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Go before them and open doors.  Father, we boldly ask for many to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior and yield their lives to Christ.

Father, as we end our time in prayer, we boldly as that You would grow each of our children in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with man.  Thank You in advance for all You will do in and through our prayers.  We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord!

Please leave a prayer request for any child,  teacher, leader, or school who is on your heart today. And if you leave a comment, let’s knit our prayers together by praying for the prayer request in the comment above yours.

And if you would like a FREE copy of a similar prayer I wrote a few years ago for our children and their schools, please click here. Feel free to share it with neighbors and friends.

***** Winner of Breaking Up with Perfect by Amy Carroll is Jessica who posted August 18th at 4:00 a.m.

Please send your full name and mailing address to my e-mail at deuteronomysix@aol.com so that we can send you your book!*****

*****To find winners of Invisible by Jennifer Rothschild, visit the end of the comments in my August 11th giveaway post*****

Standing together with you in prayer,

August 18, 2015

I’m “Breaking Up with Perfect”Giveaway

Perfect is a bad friend. No matter what we do or say … we feel like it’s never enough. Perfect always demands more and wants better, but it’s never satisfied. Never! Have you been there? I know I have, especially with my Type A personality.


That’s why I love my friend Amy Carroll’s new book, “Breaking Up with Perfect!” God has called her to help us all break up once and for all with our unfaithful friend: Perfection! And today she stopped by to share her heart and her book with us – plus she’s giving away a copy too

Amy Carroll.photo

As I rummaged through the damaged store, I hurried toward a colorful decoration that caught my eye. A hurricane had ravaged the seaside store’s merchandise, but there were a few treasures left.

My prize that day was a papier-mâché figure of Santa Clause directing a band of animal musicians. Since my husband was a band director, seeing Jolly Old Saint Nick with his conductor’s baton poised made my heart sing even though it was a balmy North Carolina summer outside.

I carefully carried the figurines to the cash register and made them mine.

Nearly skipping with joy down the sidewalk, suddenly I tripped and dropped my fragile treasures. My face fell with dismay as I peeked inside the bag only to see pieces of Santa and his friends lying jagged and free-floating at the bottom.

When I got home, I gently removed the pieces and lay them out on a table. One by one, I drew a thin line of glue on the narrow edges and began to put them back together.

The results weren’t altogether terrible.

Santa’s pedestal is webbed with cracks and the beaver is missing a leg, but unless guests get too close, they’ll never know the trauma Kris Kringle endured. He’s broken but still beautiful, and a smile stretches across my face each Christmas as I unpack him from his protective box.

Why do I struggle to believe that others could see me the same way?

All of us have a level of brokenness from our own sin nature or from sin leveled against us. We all have cracks of insecurity, shards of sin, and flaws of failure, but for most of my life I’ve wanted to hide mine. I’ve wanted to glaze over my brokenness with a façade of perfection.

If I had found only a perfect Santa acceptable, I would have either tossed him after his fall, or I would have hidden him away in the box with the other outdated, worn-out ornaments.

That’s ok with an object, but we’d never do that to an imperfect person. We’re all in the same boat! So why are we afraid others will do it to us? That maybe God will too?

So we keep others at arm’s length, never allowing anyone to get too close, or we hide behind our walls of shame or false perfection. We try to earn acceptance and love with our just-right words and our thought-out actions, feeling more and more lonely all the time, when in truth…

Authenticity is the antidote for isolation.

Jesus doesn’t despise us in our brokenness, tossing us away or hiding the fact that He loves us. He gently takes our pieces and glues them back together with His grace, compassion, and forgiveness. If we’ll only lay down our masks of perfection and surrender to His perfecting work, Jesus lovingly sets us out for the world to see and claims us as His own. 

I’ve been on a journey to break up with perfect, and I’m finding that my relationships with others are deeper than ever when I’m real about my flaws. In the process, I’m able to point to Jesus as the Perfect One, our ultimate hero, and I’m resting in the lavish love I’m finding in Him.


Amy Carroll wants to celebrate the release of her new book Breaking Up with Perfect  with you! Please leave a comment about your struggle with perfection to enter to win a free copy. If you’re living life at warp-speed today, just say “I’m breaking up with perfect!” in the comments to enter. I will announce the winner on Thursday in a new post with a prayer for our children as they head back to school! If you want to get to know Amy better, visit her blog by clicking here.