We all (men, women, children, everyone) begin this journey broken and hurting. We have been hurt by other people. We have been hurt by things that happened when we were growing up. We have been hurt by the world. We have been hurt by toxic thinking we have absorbed. And by toxic things we have embraced – knowingly or unknowingly. All of us start out spiritually dead, according to scripture. There is no good in us at all on our own (Rom. 3:10-12). All of our attempts at holiness and righteousness are like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in God’s sight (Isa. 64:6).
We don’t have the power to fix ourselves or change ourselves in our own strength or in human wisdom. So I don’t ever seek to teach women, “change yourself.”
We all need the cross of Jesus and His gospel. We all need the perfect life He lived in our place, His death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf. We all need the power of God’s Word to wash us, cleanse us, and heal us. We all need the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us. Our old sinful nature has to die with Jesus. We need a brand new nature. We can find that in Christ. We all need to know who God really is and who Jesus is and to have a saving relationship with Him.
Not just to claim to be Christian. Or to just go to church three times per week. Or to just read the Bible and pray – while our lives remain completely unchanged. That was me for so long. That was me for so long. The fruit of my life did not match what I said I believed. I wasn’t living in God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I was living in fear, bitterness, discouragement, resentment, loneliness, pain, and worry.
We need to submit fully to His Lordship and kick anything and anyone else off of the throne of our lives. Every day, we consciously die to our old sinful self, take up our cross, and follow Christ into His will, wherever He may lead. He gives us His victory over sin, trials, woundedness, fear, lies, and over everything in this world because He has already conquered the world, sin, and the grave on our behalf.
Whether we find that through reading the Bible and praying on our own, reading Christian books, through a website, or through a professional Christian counselor – my goal is always for women (and everyone) to find the abundant new spiritual Life that is available to us in Jesus. That we might be filled to overflowing with the power of His Spirit. He is the only one I know who can change people. He can wake us up. He can open our eyes. His Word is real food. His Spirit is real power. This is REAL HOPE!
If we are trusting in ourselves to change us, or in another person, or anything in this world – that is false hope. It is also idolatry.
We invite Him first to change us – and that is a process that continues every day for the rest of our lives as believers. We yield our will to His. We allow Him to show us anything toxic that has to go – like lies/wrong thinking or other sin. We learn to take our thoughts captive for Christ. We invite His goodness and truth into our lives by reading His Word daily, trusting His Word, meditating on it, praising Him, thanking Him, and allowing His Spirit to have control in our lives. And then, we can also invite Him into our marriages and families and invite Him to transform our husbands and children and others, too.
- I can’t change myself. But God can change me.
- I can’t change other people. But God can change them in His timing.
I can yield to the Lordship of Christ and walk in obedience to Him (by His Spirit’s power) and then I can have a very powerful prayer life. I can invite God to change others and to change me.
Jesus promises that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. When we come to Him for truth, His truth sets us free – from all of our bondage and from all of the strongholds of the enemy in our lives. Then we are not approaching our men, or anyone else, from a spirit of weakness, but from a spirit of meekness (bridled strength in Christ). We have access to all of the spiritual riches of heaven, and to the holy of holies, to ear and heart of the God of the entire universe. The only power we lose when we do things God’s way is our power to destroy ourselves and others. And we gain His power to pour healing into our lives and into the lives of those around us.
I am not responsible for my boyfriend’s sin or anyone else’s sin. I am not responsible for all of the problems in my relationships. I can invite God to help me change on my end. I am responsible for myself – my sin, my thinking, my way of relating to God, others, and myself. I am responsible to allow the Spirit to have access to my heart, mind, and soul and to allow His power to move mightily in my life. The goal is not to change to please another person. But to please God. And if there are major issues going on, I can pray, I can seek to address his issues in ways that honor the Lord, others, and myself. I can also reach out for appropriate help, if necessary, for others or for myself. I can approach my own issues and other people’s issues rightly in God’s eyes. The goal always being – God’s glory, His will, His Life for those around me, and for myself.