The next newsletter is attached as a pdf id070-what-has-the-lord-been-teaching-you.pdf. The text from the pdf follows this note for those of you who have difficulty opening the pdf. You do need to open the pdf to see the images though.
May God bless you as you enjoy the holidays, gather together with your families and remember the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Regarding the Questions for Suitors
One of the questions that my mother asked my father before they were married was: “Can we have people inside the house, and animals outside the house?” I did think that it might be a good idea to ask questions like: “What do you think about animals? Farming?” “Would you want us to have animals? Inside or outside?”
Shalom, Hannah from the USA
Most of the questions I have come up with were addressed in the last newsletter, but I do have a suggestion to make for all of the girls going through them. I have been going through them and categorizing them. Marking out:
* which questions I would want answers to (or the topics I would want some ideas on what positions he holds to,) up front before entering a courtship,
* those that are “like minded, equal yoking” questions that need to be asked early on in the courtship,
* those questions that are not “like minded” type questions but they “could bug me if I didn’t find them out right at the beginning”,
* those questions that are interesting to know, but are not essentials so they could be safely asked when the courtship is on a firm footing,
* those questions that I would need to know later on in the courtship, but could be seen as more of a “I’m really committed to this” type of question
* those that would be for near engagement or after engagement,
* and those questions that are more or less unimportant to you, but should at least be asked in case they are important to “him”
This is helping me to sketch out in my mind the flow and intensity of the questions, the implied commitment, or potential emotional impact they can have in both his and my heart and life.
Thanks for all of your work in the newsletters and your ministry to all of the young woman you touch through it.
Ashley S in the USA
A Letter from a Pioneer Visionary Daughter
I am so thrilled to hear that you are soon to be married! Although you hardly know me from a bar of soap, I have known of you and your family in different ways for years now. You would hardly believe it, but in just the last week I have been thinking a lot about you and praying that your parents would find an excellent husband for you!! I saw somewhere on the ‘Net a while ago that you were born a month before me; in that and in other ways, I felt some affinity with you.
I, too, “gave up” the rat race in order to prepare myself for the future. I spent almost a year gleaning (like my namesake) all the wisdom and knowledge I could on marriage, making a home, managing a household, nutrition and health, childbearing and childrearing, gardening, frugality, beauty, and anything else I thought might be useful.
Of course, there were people who did not – and still do not – fully understand what I was doing during that time, seemingly seeing it as wasted time or a dereliction of “duty.” However, I will leave that in the hands of the One who judges justly.
I am certain that every day since I was married (five years ago last Friday), I have used at least one piece of that wisdom from those who have gone before me.
Funnily enough, at the time, I was convinced that I must be the only unmarried young woman in New Zealand who was doing such a thing. : )
You can be assured that I will think of you often and pray for you and your family. How exciting to think of you becoming a mother quite soon, too, Lord willing. ; )
Ruth Pickles in New Zealand
Monday, 24 December 2007
What has the Lord been Teaching You?
“What has the Lord been teaching you recently?” is a question I often ask and just as often ponder myself. “What has the Lord been teaching me recently? What is He teaching me right now?”
During the first part of this year the Lord was teaching me a LOT about submission—how I needed to submit to my parents and the impact a submissive or unsubmissive heart would have on a future husband and marriage. These were good lessons, excellent lessons, given what happened in the second part of this year: meeting Pete and becoming engaged! The Lord’s timing is perfect!
Some lessons are hard to learn. I have an unsubmissive, sinner’s heart. But the Lord has been, oh, so gentle with me in this area. He hasn’t left me alone to make mistakes and battle on my own. With this lesson He provided me with a curriculum, workshops and sounding boards.
These were my parents. The Lord opened my eyes on a couple of unsubmissive occasions to see the effect my manner was having on my parents. How it was draining them of energy and enthusiasm and motivation. This was a very humbling experience, particularly as I realised that the same manner would produce the same effect on a future husband. Did I want to be the cause of draining him of energy, enthusiasm and motivation? Certainly not! I wanted to be an energy giver, a motivator and someone who would promote enthusiasm! So while trying to get rid of my unsubmissive habits, I realised I needed to pursue joyful and cheerful obedience.
Each year I organise a Titus 2 Party. It is a time when I invite all the ladies I know, young and old, to a party. The older ladies I’ll invite to teach and the younger ones to come with questions. Each year I pick a different topic from Titus 2v4-5: Loving husbands, loving children, being chaste, good, discreet, being a good homemaker and being submissive to our own husbands.
This year I picked being submissive.
I asked the older ladies to speak about being submissive to husbands, as a lot of the young women were married, but also to speak about how we could prepare for that by being submissive to our parents, as many of the young women (such as myself) were unmarried. The evening was FABULOUS! And I learned a LOT! Lord willing I’ll be able to share with you what the older women shared in a future newsletter.
Not only did the Lord provide me with sounding boards and organise workshops for me as He has been teaching me about submission, but He has also given me a curriculum. And what a curriculum! It is a book called, As Unto the Lord: a Tool for Wives Who Want to Glorify God.
The book is based on the Westminster Larger Catechism’s commentary on the fifth commandment — the one about honouring parents. The commentary basically says that the fifth commandment is not just saying that children need to honour parents, but that all those under authority need to honour those in authority. It defines the honour we owe to those in authority over us and also describes the sins we often commit against those in authority over us.
The author of this fabulous book, Pam Forster, simply expands on this commentary, asking questions to help wives determine whether they are properly honouring their husbands and helping them to analyse the way they are sinning against their husbands.
When I picked up and read the book, I did so as a daughter to help me in my relationship with my parents. Nearly 100% of the questions for wives in relation to husbands worked for me in relation to my parents! The book was so helpful! As I read through the questions and meditated on them and the Scriptures given, I was provided with countless practical ways to show respect to my parents.
After reading the book, I dreamed of getting together with Mrs Forster and writing a book just like it especially for daughters. But guess what I’ve discovered? She has already done it! She has two new books. One is called For This is Right and the other is called Honor Thy Father and Mother. One is for older children and the other for younger children. Here are the links:
Next week I’ll share with you some of the questions from As Unto the Lord. You won’t want to miss these! They are sure to touch your heart and suggest ways of changing patterns of behaviour as you meditatively go through them.
For the Greater Glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
I have sent this email to girls who have embraced a vision of victorious daughterhood as well as those who may be thinking about doing so (and even to some girls who may just like some encouragement regarding different areas of home life). Some of the girls are in the USA, UK, Australia and other parts of the world. Most are in New Zealand. You are welcome to forward this email on to others so long as you do so in its entirety. If you do not want to receive these emails please just send a return email to me stating that fact. If you know of other girls who would be encouraged by receiving these emails, feel free to forward the email to them or send me their email address.