In Part 1, we talked about the beginning stages of the journey to becoming a godly wife
- 2. Repentance
- 3. The Frustrating Quiet Phase
In Part 2, we talked about
- 4. Seeking God First (tearing out idols and making Christ Lord)
- 5. Giving Your Man Space
- 6. Feeling Totally Overwhelmed
Today, let’s continue on… But please know that these stages are not always linear. We cycle through some of them over and over again at times as we grow. Some of them happen at the same time. This is a refining process. We stumble at times. We may not always be moving forwards. That is normal. But we continue to repent, get back up, seek God first and desire to obey Him above all else. This is a LONG journey of many thousands of miles that we walk by foot. It is not an instant thing. You will not be the most godly woman in 1 day or 1 week or 1 month. This is a process of many, many months and years. It is the process of sanctification in the life of every believer in Christ.
7. LEARNING TO USE WORDS AND EMOTIONS TO BLESS – coming out of the quiet phase
As we get better at NOT saying the negative sinful things, we can also begin to learn to speak this new language of respect. We begin to learn to use words that genuinely and sincerely affirm, encourage, praise, build up and bless. We are beginning to be able to speak with wisdom and discretion and to know when it is best to be silent and how and when to use words to edify.
This is going to feel foreign and awkward. Much like learning to speak a new language.
At first, you will want to go back to your “native language” of disrespect because it feels normal and natural. But, in time, as you practice this new language, eventually it will feel normal and natural and your old sinful language will feel awkward and foreign and awful!
We still may not talk as much as we used to when we were stressed, worried, afraid, trying to control everything. But we begin to find beautiful things to talk about, good things, and we begin to verbalize our positive feelings:
- I’m so glad you are here
- I love being your girl
- I feel so full of joy today
- I am overwhelmed by how blessed I am
- I feel like the happiest woman on the planet!
- I love spending time with you
- Thanks for listening to me
- Thanks for eating supper with me
- I appreciate how hard you work and how responsible you are
- I love your strong work ethic
- I appreciate your wisdom and your willingness to share your ideas with me
- Thank you for your leadership
By the way – I began to thank Greg for his leadership long before he began to lead. I stepped down first.
I began to thank him for carrying the weight of responsibility, accountability before God and leadership before God in our marriage. I thanked him for carrying that weight that was too heavy for me. I told him I trusted him to lead us. I told God I trusted Him to lead me through Greg and if God wanted me to do something, He would figure out how to lay it on Greg’s heart. I told God I would not run ahead or take control anymore but just wait on God and Greg to lead me. I told God I would be content to wait right there until I was 80 years old if I had to, but I was going to follow Greg, not lead anymore.
This involves A LOT of waiting. I was pretty awful at waiting and possibly one of the most impatient people on the planet before. But, thankfully, there is much to learn in the waiting and, eventually, waiting becomes sweet.
8. FINDING CONTENTMENT IN CHRIST ALONE
We begin to recognize disappointment, discontent and negative feelings as flags to help us evaluate our motives and set our eyes back on Christ to find our joy.
We lay down our desires, our dreams, our plans, our goals, everything we have, everything we are, our wisdom, our lives – at Jesus’ feet. We nail our old sinful nature to the cross to die with Christ and to be buried with Him. We give Him all that we are. We are “living sacrifices” for Him every day. We learn to say in sincerity in every area of our lives, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
We put on our new self in Christ. Then, we pick up Jesus’ desires, His dreams, His plans, His goals, His priorities, His wisdom, His identity, His heavenly riches and we seek His greatest glory. This becomes the focus of our lives.
Now, our lives are all about Jesus, not about us.
- We do lose our old sinful selves. We die to that old self. (Eph 4:20-24, Romans 6:6, Galatians 5:24)
- But we gain our new selves in Christ. We put on “the new man” in Christ.
10. DEVELOPING A GRATEFUL HEART
We focus on Philippians 4:8 and on being thankful in everything.
- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
We focus on obeying God’s command in Philippians 2:14-16 to do all things without complaining or arguing. Complaining comes from an ungrateful spirit. That does not ever honor God. Arguing comes from pride – thinking I am always right. We focus now on humility and thankfulness as we learn to praise God in every situation and trust His sovereignty and His wisdom not our own.
- Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”c Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16as you hold firmly to the word of life.
We learn to look for the good and focus on the good in our men and in life in general.
We begin to speak up about the things we are thankful for, the things that are good, the things we admire, the things we see that are beautiful and praiseworthy in our men in those around us, in our day, in life – and we begin to become genuinely thankful women.
The sinful thoughts happen less and less frequently and when they do pop up, we recognize them more quickly and know how to shoot them down and not dwell on them when we have God’s Spirit empowering us.
11. TAKING EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE
The only way to truly become a godly woman is to allow God to change your mind, heart and soul completely. A big part of this is learning to capture each thought and evaluate it against the truth of God’s Word and reject sinful thoughts, only holding on to the godly, biblical thoughts.
This means you will have to recognize your thoughts. For me, I had to write down the “tapes” that would play over and over in my head. Then I had to compare what I was saying to myself with God’s Word. I had to replace the lies and sin with the truth of God’s Word.
Eventually, the sinful “tapes” stop playing in our minds all the time. The worry, resentment, fear, bitterness, etc… go away as we kick them out and as we replace those thoughts with meditating on God’s Word, memorizing scripture, meditating on worship songs that exalt Christ…
One day, you realize that there is no constant chatter going on in your head and that you are not worrying anymore – and there is this amazing calm in your soul – God’s peace!
God is REALLY addictive! In the BEST way! You will want to do anything to keep God’s peace flowing in your heart. We can do this by staying in God’s Word, seeking Him first, repenting of every sin as soon as we are aware of it, and focusing on learning more about God’s sovereignty and being thankful.
12. FEELING DISCOURAGED
(PLEASE, only date a godly man who shows the fruit of God’s Spirit in his life on a daily basis, who is able to repent when he sins, and who wants to grow in his walk with Christ and put Christ FIRST as LORD.)
As soon as you think, “Why should I do all this work and he doesn’t have to do anything?!?!” or “Why should I have to change first?” Let that be your flag to remember why you are doing this.
- You are doing this to please and honor and obey Christ. You are doing this to bless your man.
If these are not our only motives, there is sin in our hearts.
This is also a good chance to look to see if there are still ways you may be unintentionally disrespecting your man (tone of voice, pressuring him to do things, body language, scowling, sighing, rolling your eyes, etc…)