Monday, January 26, 2015

Couples of the Bible-Adam and Eve Part 1

I am very excited to share a bible study I have developed and will be doing for the next several Mondays with you. I am going to study iconic and lesser known couples of the bible, what they went through, how God was involved in their lives, their faith (or in many occasions lack there of), their culture, and what God was trying to accomplish with this couple.

For our first couple, I battled with studying Adam and Eve because they are so well known. But then after talking to my grandma (my bible guru), I thought, they were the FIRST couple. The first married couple that God ever much more important could you get than that?  I am going to break this particular couple into two focusing on the perfect marriage and the second part focusing on disobeying God. If you would like to follow in your bible, I will be studying Genesis Chapter 2:1-25.

In Genesis Chapter 2, after God created the Earth, he noticed it needed to be taken care of. So he created man-Adam. He was to watch over the Garden of Eden, and gave Adam one command.  He could have any fruit he wanted, but none from the tree of knowledge. This was a test of obedience, which reminds us that God is always testing our character.
 But, Adam became lonely and after God gave him all the creatures to name God realized he needed something else.

Then the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." Genesis 2:18 (NLT)

In this verse, we see how God is concerned for Adam's loneliness. He wants men to have a companion, a helper, an equal. Man is incomplete without someone to make him whole.

The Lord created her out of Adam's ribs and this pleased Adam greatly.  Can you imagine how happy he was?  He says in verse 23,

This one is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called woman because she was taken from man. (NLT)

Verse 24 is often quoted and I wanted to really dissect into what it means, because it means a lot to me.  It holds God's design for marriage.  

The words "one flesh" describe God's plan for what marriage is intended to be. There are several meanings God had in that one phrase:

1) United meant that divorce was not an option-it was permanent
2) The loyalty changes from parents to spouse
3) In Ephesians 5:28-31, this perfect marriage represents Christ's relationship with the church
"As the scriptures say, "a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one" This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one."

Let's talk about one other meaning God intended for "one flesh" which also brings me to the term "naked" in verse 25. Yep...I am going to talk about sex. (gasp!!) God never intended for sex to be viewed the way it is today and I will devote several posts on just that topic, but let's focus on the verse at hand. When God said, "one flesh" he also meant sexual completeness. Husbands and wives are to enjoy each other physically. Adam and Eve were not ashamed or embarrassed by each other's bodies. This really spoke to me because I battle with my image on a daily basis, as I know many women do. We are to love our spouses and who they are and love how they look and vice versa. (that's some of the many reasons we got married in the first place, right??). Can you imagine how amazing it must have felt to Adam and Eve not to have to worry about what they looked like to each other (also can I just say it must have been nice not to have to worry about lighting, how you look from a certain angle, if they see certain things)...they just enjoyed each other? I think this mentality as a married couple would really help some of us get over fear, embarrassment, etc. I think there are several things we can learn from Adam and Eve as the first perfect couple. 

I hope you have enjoyed this bible study as much as I have!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book review: The Good Wife's Guide

I read about Darlene Schacht when I read Candace Cameron Bure's book, Reshaping it all. I have to say first before I get into this book...I love Candace Cameron Bure. I have looked up to her since I watched her on Full House, and she is still a role model to me, even more so as a Christian wife. (I plan to post a review of her book Balancing it All on here even though I read the book last year. It was that good).

So back to Darlene Schacht. This was a great book. I love her principles. Her goal is for us as wives and mothers to embrace our roles as our husband's help meets. She is a firm believer of the Bible's teaching in Ephesians 5.

It is such a lost belief, but when we follow the Bible's teachings and understand that our husbands are to be the head of the house and we are to support them, we have a lot happier marriages. She understands there are a lot of people who think of her as old fashioned, but she is ok with that.

"I'll start by saying this; letting him have the final say doesn't mean that you can't have a discussion and share your ideas. A good marriage should have channels of communication by which husbands and wives both offer ideas and determine solutions...but at the end of the day he gets the executive vote." (Location 348 Kindle)

One thing that really spoke to me was how she makes sure her hubby feels welcomed when he gets home. I have struggled in the past with this. I am really trying to work to make this better. I have a bad habit when K would get home, I would be on my tablet, phone, computer, or cooking or watching T.V. I even remember once when he got home from work I was watching an episode of a show (on Netflix!!) and even after he was home and unloading his stuff, I kept watching. She brought to light how ridiculous that was. He worked all day, and all I could do was watch T.V.? Didn't he deserve more than that?? After a long day, he deserves all my attention and affection. He should feel welcomed and loved.

"Of equal importance to me, however, is the welcome I offer my husband each day. From the moment he steps through the door, I want our house to feel like a home. I want life inside that door to be a haven of comfort and rest" (Location 577 Kindle)

She goes on to list ways she makes her house welcoming to him like having supper prepared, greeting him at the door, and "sprucing up" a little before he gets home. This spoke volumes to me. My husband works long hours. Coming home to a warm and inviting home and a welcoming wife is one of my top priorities. And I have a bad habit of looking pretty yucky. I don't think we have to wear dresses or anything...but I think dabbing on a little mascara and brushing my hair and teeth should do the trick. 

Darlene Schacht's whole goal with this book is for us as housewives and mothers to embrace our roles as the help meet and do it with joy. One thing I loved that she said is if you are having a tough time with that or feeling lazy, do it for the Lord. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~ Colossians 3:23-24, NIV

She also tackles subjects like handling conflict, ways to show him respect, and in her second part of the book she gives suggestions for organizing your house and doable cleaning schedules. 

I really enjoyed this book. There were a few topics I wish she would have gone a little more in depth and at times I felt it was a little scattered, but I really liked her attitude and the way she wasn't afraid of expressing her beliefs. I give it 4 stars.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Not another New Year's Resolution post...

It's the first week of January and tons of articles, blogs, and tips are being released on organization, goal setting, losing weight, etc. I have to admit...I am a goal setter. For the past several years, I have spent time before Jan 1st to write down goals I want to achieve for the year. I am an annoyingly organized person, but I love the feeling of accomplishment. So what does this have to do with marriage or how does it help? Well, I know that K thrives on organization and structure as much as I do. Keeping our home life organized and structured helps our relationship succeed. I know how much K appreciates a clean house, cooked meals, etc so I strive to meet that. I make to do lists and work really hard to cross everything off. So that brings me back to goal setting. I set goals for myself so I can become an even better wife and person.  Being able to not only set the goals for yourself but actually achieve them, makes you feel like you have purpose and it makes you feel good. The trick is to set realistic goals...ones that you see yourself doing. Because of this blog, I decided to make a few marriage goals as well as personal goals this year. So I wanted to share my marriage goals with you...

Our Marriage Goals:
1) One night a week with no electronics
2) Date night once a week (I read an article that said not to make this a should be a habit anyway, but I disagree. Because of busyness and schedules...Sometimes you have to consciously have this on your to do list. Schedule date night! Do everything you can to have time just the two of you)
3) Bible study once a week (again...for us it has to be on the to do list. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that this gets overlooked)
4) Budget efficiency (We are still using Dave Ramsey's methods but both of us want to be more effective with doing the budget together and making it work)
5) Take a vacation together (We try every year to take a vacation and get away but last year it didn't happen. So this year is a must)

Now for my personal goals for 2015...

1) Read 22 books (and do 2015 Reading Challenge) ( I read 20 books last year so I increased my goal by 2 and added the 2015 challenge)
2) To lose my last 15 pounds (I have lost a total of 40 and kept it off for 2 years...I feel amazing)
3) Cook healthy and try a new recipe once a month (I like the idea of learning at least 12 new recipes)
4) To keep up core exercises and strengthen my core
5) To buy a bike or be diligent with going to the gym (so undecided if I am going to give up my gym membership)
6) Really dive into and  do personal bible studies (I am actually thinking of doing couples of the bible and posting it here)
7) Create/craft something new (I am a scrapbook and cardmaker. I want to learn something new)
8) To scrapbook and make cards once a week 
9) To organize bills and loose papers lying around (such a boring, tedious task)
10) Organize garage/donate what we don't need
11) Get more involved in church
12) Find something new to volunteer for (I have made cards for soldiers who are overseas for several years now. I want to find another organization to give to)

So that's my goals for this year! What about you? Do you set goals for the year? What are some of yours?