Thursday, March 05, 2009

What They Say...What I Know

Or the story of:

They tell us we’re dying and our hope will die with us and other nasty things.

Young ladies, one of the aspects of being a daughter set apart is persecution. There are a few things that I wish for you to understand about this aspect of your life, not so you can circumvent it, but so that you can face it like a true daughter of Zion.

Not in any particular order:

  1. Persecution comes in a form that hits our areas of vulnerability.
  2. It's perfectly designed.
  3. It's a test of faith for our good.
  4. It carries with it many benefits you will treasure
  5. Facing it in a biblical fashion gives you a way of escape.
  6. Facing it in a non-biblical fashion can be devastating to you and your loved ones.
  7. You must be shored up before it comes so that you can handle it with godly maturity.
  8. You should, can, and will eventually thank God for it.


I am going to attempt to walk you through persecution, in this post. My hope is that you'll gain wisdom for how to shore up your defenses because; no daughter, blogger or non-blogger, is exempt from facing the fiery darts of Satan. Satan understands our vulnerabilities even if we don’t and that can make for a difficult time for a daughter.

God seeks to strengthen us, we must not shrink from it.

I see many daughters that shrink in fear when fiery darts are thrown in an attempt to unravel their faith. I have much compassion for them. Fiery darts come in many forms not just in reviling words like we’ll examine today. Nonetheless, fiery darts hit us where it hurts and test our faith. Daughters need to recognize these tests when they come. Hopefully the process we’ll go through in this post will also help reveal other fiery darts being thrown your way.

Let’s begin with a note from one of our unsaved blog readers who has made an effort to hurt and wound us without provocation:

"Hey, when are you two broads going to fulfill your destiny and get married instead of living off your parents? If you've been out of the workforce for over 10 years, you have to be at least 28 years old. Your expiration date is sneaking up to you and your ovaries will start to shut down soon. Better give up the ghost and [forsake chastity and virtue]! Looks like you two are failures at becoming "helpmeets". The older you get, the less men eligible to marry (unless of course you wait for widowers to come along)."

What do we do when we face something like this?

It’s easy to be taken back by such words, but daughters need to understand that their emotions are often their worst enemies causing them to react rather than living according to scripture.

He Gave you grace, Give Grace

It is wise to remember that Christ was offended and reviled for our sake. Call to mind your previous wretched state and the long suffering and compassion the Lord and others showed you that ushered in your salvation. Thank the Lord for His perfect work. Thank the Lord for the grace He gives you to live the life you are now privileged to live and pray for the grace and wisdom to know how to deal with this opportunity set before you. Be inspired by your Lord to take up your cross and submit to the offense given. His compassion toward us reminds us how we can live with Him since we have died with him. Pray to the Lord that He will bring Glory to Himself in dealing with the reviler and have the same compassion on your revilers that He had on you. I have found this prayer to be helpful:

“Lord, will you bless _________ with wisdom, love, and discretion? Would you keep ________ from judging and reviling? Would you lift up Your countenance upon _______ and give _________ peace with You, himself, and others?”

These are all important “first things” to do because doing this will give you the freedom from an emotional reaction and genuine love for the reviler.

Seek Wisdom

Remember to draw from the scripture you’ve stored up in your heart or go to scripture seeking God’s wisdom and instruction for what your behavior should be toward reviling, scoffing, and/or foolishness like this as well as to seek to discover any truth there might be in the reviling words. Sort it out.

Here is an example:

Proverbs 9: 7-9

He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked [man getteth] himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning.

Matthew Henry Comments:

2. What different sorts of persons they would meet with, and what course they must take with them, and what success they might expect.

They would meet with some scorners and wicked men who would mock the messengers of the Lord, and misuse them, would laugh those to scorn that invite them to the feast of the Lord, as they did, 2 Chr. 30:10, would treat them spitefully, Mt. 22:6. And, though they are not forbidden to invite those simple ones to Wisdom’s house, yet they are advised not to pursue the invitation by reproving and rebuking them. Reprove not a scorner; cast not these pearls before swine, Mt. 7:6. Thus Christ said of the Pharisees, Let them alone, Mt. 15:14. "Do not reprove them.’’ [1.] "In justice to them, for those have forfeited the favour of further means who scorn the means they have had. Those that are thus filthy, let them be filthy still; those that are joined to idols, let them alone; lo, we turn to the Gentiles.’’ [2.] "In prudence to yourselves; because, if you reprove them,’’ First, "You lose your labour, and so get to yourselves shame for the disappointment.’’ Secondly, "You exasperate them; do it ever so wisely and tenderly, if you do it faithfully, they will hate you, they will load you with reproaches, and say all the ill they can of you, and so you will get a blot; therefore you had better not meddle with them, for your reproofs will be likely to do more hurt than good.’’

Is there truth in it?

Yes there is. There are lies as well. Let’s sort it out shall we.

As Daughters of Zion we are not called to be “broads that fulfill our own destiny” but are called to live under the care and headship of our father until given in marriage so we really haven’t anything to do with that one but toss it out. Let’s look closer though. It’s implied that we’re mooching. Daughters should understand that their position and role calls them to add to the industry of a home but they should not harbor false guilt over being provided for. Moving on.

“You’re old and the window of opportunity is closing.” Yep that’s true. We’re called to be diligent toward marrying young; to be fruitful and multiply. Our family was lost for many years until one day when the Lord saw fit to use the Moore family to lead us to Christ, teach us about the roles of men and women, homeschooling, and much more all in one fell swoop. Since then we’ve sought the wisdom of the Lord, for direction for our lives, we've still made some mistakes but continue according to our faith with the hopes that He will help us redeem the time.

“Give up the ghost and forsake our ways.” That seems to imply that Christianity is a failure. Living according to the law of God is never a failure because it’s a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Looks like you two are failures at becoming helpmeets” We’re not dead yet. Projecting failure isn’t something we’re called to think upon as dominion minded individuals. If we are going to be a success in anything, a projected goal of failure isn’t a perspective that produces success. Success will come by many means that the Lord chooses. He shows us examples everyday of how He providentially brings about success. Just recently we witnessed God reward the faith of those in reformed community that held to a biblical vision of marriage. It looks to us that God isn’t dead and cares for his own. He’s given us examples to follow that are alternative to the ways of the world. He’s given us inspiration to invent other ways of making marriages happen.

“They older you get the harder it is to marry” Why would it be harder? Fewer men is what is implied. This is not the Walmart parking lot, the good ones are not all taken. The older you get the easier it is to see the cream of the crop. Also, the older you get the wiser you are and the more careful you are with your relationships making for a more successful courtship and marriage. I am not advocating later marriages. A maturity level that speaks of preparedness for marriage should be reached when daughters are young and marriages made sooner. But we are talking about the here and now so I’m just saying.

Did you notice which things they poked at?

It makes sense that persecution is perfectly designed to poke us where we are vulnerable when we understand that every daughter faces the same fears and similar trials, generally speaking, in the course of their maturing.

Every daughter wants to know, who will love her, who will take care of her, who she’ll marry, when she’ll marry, who will protect her. These are good questions that need good answers. They are the most important questions a daughter has and so they are also emotionally charged at times. The devil knows this even if we don’t about ourselves and fashions persecutions that fit us. But God wants us to put our hope in Him on these matters. Because daughters are most vulnerable in regard to these questions, they need the best defenses in these areas and that comes from know in what God has to say about the matter and turning the persecution into a victory in your work for the Lord.


Our Rewards for Being Reviled

Caused me to humble myself

Called to mind I am privileged to be living by grace.

Caused me to thank the Lord again.

Gave me a clearer view of the dominion work that needs to be done

Invigorated my desire love to evangelize the lost.

Encouraged me to seek wisdom about persecution.

Made me wiser to the tactics of the devil.

And the list goes on.

I thank the Lord for taking me through times of reviling because it has taught me longsuffering and He has then used it for His glory and to usher in the salvation of a friend. I was privileged to witness the Great Husband at work first hand. It renewed the joy of my conversion.

Recommendations:

True Beauty

Rewards of Being Reviled

Reigning Through Suffering

Be Fruitful and Multiply

Godly Femininity Set

Biblical Thinking about Courtship & Marriage

7 comments:

Miriam said...

Getting negative comments (and evil advice) about your lifestyle choices is no fun. It seems that many people who would never live as you or I or other bloggers would enjoy criticizing our choices. I'm not sure what satisfaction they get from their comments, but you're right. We do get a chance to identify more with a little bit of suffering. I had a similar experience a year ago (see http://notherown.blogspot.com/2008/01/110-visits-and-suffering.html).

I am a Christian who was homeschooled and have been familiar with some of the same circuits of influence as you. I do wonder though at the conviction you have at staying home until you are married.

I found your blog a couple weeks ago and have been intrigued to see what you do with your time and why you think it best to stay "out of the workforce." I've heard some people describe their reasons for this decision, but it has always left me a little unsettled.

If you want to use a biblical example, why not use the whole biblical example and have a father arranged marriage? If that is your plan, is your Dad actively seeking a godly young man for you to marry? In biblical times, a older never-married girl was almost unheard of. She was unable to support herself and did not have the opportunity to make a living. It seems that if girls are choosing to stay home, their dads must be willing and actively pursuing a future marriage.

I did marry later in life (6 months ago at age 28 to my almost 30 year old husband.) I lived near (though not with) my parents and worked in my college profession of engineering at a local company. My dad wasn't looking for a spouse for me. Eventually, as I continued to feel the desire for marriage and yet saw no one around that I would consider, I asked God to either take away my desire or to give me a husband. I prayed for months and then decided to join eharmony. God allowed a wonderful godly man to find and marry me. His background is similar to mine and he was on eharmony for many of the same reasons. Neither of us had ever dated before and have so enjoyed experiencing the joys of marriage and a physical relationship with one another for the first time together.

I definitely don't think that everyone should be on eharmony, I just bring my case in as an example. Have you considered looking outside your immediate acquaintances for a husband? God has called most women to marry. I know that you both seem to desire marriage and love kids and would enjoy the lifestyle of creating a home for your husband and family one day.

This comment has gotten extremely long. I totally understand if you choose not to publish it. I will read your blog and hope to see answers to some of my questions one day. Or, if you prefer, you can comment on my blog in response (I have comment moderation as well).

I in no way mean to be rude in this comment, I'm just curious at your reasoning and hoping that you won't ever look back in sorrow at your extended years spent at home.

Blessings!

Miriam

Nick Jesch said...

as I read this post, this one line jumped out at me from the accusations (well, just WHO is the accuser of the bretheren, anyway?):

“Looks like you two are failures at becoming helpmeets”

to which you responded:

We’re not dead yet.

MY thought: so, true enough, you're not yet married, and so not yet a helpmeet to a husband. However, everything I've seen on this blog plainly shows you are both being helps to your Father, and the rest of your family, contributing well to the prosperity (on many levels) of that family. And so you will continue until you are placed into that relationship with your husband. Which means two things: your "not yet married" status is not really of your own choosing; and that you are not allowing that status to preclude your being helpmeets to someone.
Sure, I've not yet made a million bucks. But that does not mean I never will, and thus I am not yet a failure in that regard. Until you've taken up residence in a pine box and start daisy farming from the root side, you haven't failed... and even then, you can rest in the knowledge that you've given your best in your roles as part of your family, both the family unit and the church (your local congregation and the church at large, wherever you influence, including through this blog). Since your lives are not your own, but God's then it is HIS "problem" to connect each of you with your husbands as his special helpmeet.. or not.

A long time good friend of mine lost his wife of many years to cancer, leaving him to finish raising their four children on his own. After some years alone, he met and married another wonderful woman.. she was in her early fifties, had never married, and no one meeting them today as a family would ever guess that she is not the mother of those four (now adult) children, nor the grandmother of the next generation. Did she "fail" during those thirty some years she continued faithful to God as a not-yet-married woman? Certainly not. Does she wish she'd married long before? Not if it would mean she's not now married to Charles, nosirree. Both (and all who know them) see clearly God's timing and ways are perfect. She could just as well have received some comments like the one you got back when she was 2X years old. Probably did. So what? It is God who sees the end from the beginning, the completion from the pieces. We who cannot see thus do well to trust Him and His ways.. which you do.

Great word of encouragement, and not just for the Ladies in the "not yet married" category. Some of we gents need the same sort of "mental readustment". Same situation, different details. Same cure.

Marci said...

I would like to know if the one who so blatantly blasted you left a real name? Y'all are right where you are supposed to be and don't let anyone tell you different!!! You are doing a great job!!

Mrs Mills said...

You two are as far from being failures as East is from West!. Keep on being a blessing to your family and the right kind of men will notice.

I know It's hard finding decent men to marry, my sister in law and her cousins are getting discouraged (all over 30). I was 36 when I married my husband, so remember "it ain't over til it's over":)

Miss Kelly and Miss Andrea said...

So, I just was reviewing the blog here with Internet Explorer rather than Firefox and found that this post was full of interesting HTML. Sorry about that. I think I have it edited out. I published the post with FireFox. Apparently it wasn't working like it should that day.
~K

Megan said...

I agree with the above comments! If anything, God is using you to be an encouragement to young women like myself, to be patient and have self-control in our time of singlness! :) Keep it up! God bless!

Suzanne said...

This post is such a blessing. It really spoke to me. I will be passing it on to a single friend of mine. Please don't let such a rude comment discourage you. You are blessing many people through your blog.