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Posts Tagged ‘grandmothers’

women & health careGod created woman to be a helper (Hebrew: ezer).  God knew man would not be complete without woman to help him remember and trust God’s Word, be a good steward of all that God has made, and build a culture of life.

In a fallen world, however, woman is challenged by Satan, sin and her own doubting nature.  But there is hope in Jesus Christ!  And, because of Jesus Christ, there are countless opportunities for each ezerwoman to make a positive difference in her home, church and community.  Where can ezerwoman begin?  By making use of a resource I call Ezer’s Handbook.  Let’s begin with opportunity #1 —

#1 — MENTOR FROM A HOUSE BUILT ON FIRM FOUNDATION

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down (Proverbs 14:1).

Build on The Word.  The Word is Wisdom.  It is unchanging Truth.  The Word provides everything a man or woman needs for living in today’s world, meeting today’s challenges, and mentoring generations.  Paraphrased Bibles are fine for personal reading, but don’t count on them for accuracy.  Highly recommended is The Lutheran Study Bible (ESV).  The commentaries offer historical and archeological evidence as well as Greek and Hebrew origins of words.

Prepare for the Battle of Worldviews on Sex and Sexuality.  Begin with the Bible study Men, Women and Relationships: Building a Culture of Life Across Generations.  This twelve-lesson study is appropriate for men and women who are single or married.  Although the world tells us that men and women are the same, no different from one another and both just “sexual beings from birth”, God tells us we are far more than that.  (This Bible study with leader’s guide may be ordered from Concordia Publishing House #LFL901BS or by calling 888-364-LIFE.)

Be Equipped with Resources.  Married or single, a woman has a sphere of influence that leads others to–or away from–God.  How are you mentoring biblical womanhood in your home?  From your office?  At school?  In the your church and community?  You will find resources for mentoring biblical womanhood at Titus 2 for Life and The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Be Careful Who You Let Shape Your Worldview.  Ideas of sex, sexuality, love, relationships, marriage, motherhood, morality, clothing, behavior and life in general are mentored in one way or another by every newspaper, magazine, website, TV commercial or self-help book.  As a follower of Christ, it is our responsibility to be discerning.  WORLD and CITIZEN are publications that offer a biblical perspective in contrast to Newsweek and Time.  Websites with current information offered from a biblical worldview rather than humanist perspective include Parental Rights, Answers In Genesis, LifeNews, the Family Research Council, MercatorNet, and Concerned Women for America.

Use Spiritual Discernment.  A Titus 2 mentor reaches out with the Truth of God, both Law and Gospel.  We are called, however, to be discerning in the proper use of each.  The woman who doesn’t recognize her sin is in need of the Law, but the woman who has been convicted of her sin longs for the Gospel (Psalm 32:3-5).  A suggested book that will help you better distinguish Law and Gospel — as well as the time and place for both — is Handling the Word of Truth by John T. Pless.

Mentor, Don’t Preach.  The woman who builds her house on firm foundation must be prepared for “hot button” issues that stir memories and emotions.  In our circle of relationships are women who have been mentored by someone with a humanist or feminist perspective.  Among us are women who have been wounded by a past abortion, divorce, or physical or mental abuse.  Jesus never compromised the truth nor did He break an already bruised reed.  May we, too, speak truth with a gentle love for souls.  One very effective way to mentor without preaching is story-telling.  No one can deny the lessons learned from a person’s real-life experience.

What’s next?  #2: Mentor Confidence in the Created Order.

Ezer’s Handbook is a resource developed
by Linda Bartlett and presented at Titus 2 Retreats.

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Tara had been raped.  She had been violated by a man who had no respect for her personhood.  For her physical or emotional well-being.  She felt dirty.  Degraded and filthy.  A sense of uncleanness rose up from the very core of her being.

Was she to blame?  No.  The man who assaulted and raped her was to blame.  He, and he alone, was responsible for his behavior.

Tara took care with her dress and behavior.  She didn’t allow herself to be in places she knew were unsafe.  Yet, one night, on her way home from the house of a friend, a man appeared from nowhere.  He had evil on his mind.  The deed was done.  And she was left to grieve the loss the loss of something she considered of great value.  The pureness of her identity was stolen away.

Or, was it?  Purity is not something that can be stolen.  We, ourselves, can determine to give up our purity or consciously turn from a life of purity, but no one can steal this virtue from us.  Purity, it has been said, is not so much of the body but of the soul.  In Tara’s eyes, much had been lost.  But, in the eyes of God, Tara – who had not compromised her virtue – was still pure.

On Good Friday, Tara attended church with her family but she did not go home with them.  Instead, she lingered in the quiet sanctuary.  There, she asked: “Why, God?  Why did this have to happen?  Will my future husband consider me spoiled?  Will there be a wedding for one so shamed?”  Tara wept.  Tears of sorrow quickly became tears of anger.  Then fear.  Had evil ruined her life?  Thoughts began to swirl in her head.  Strangely, Tara remembered a day in the kitchen with her grandmother.  It was the place where lessons in cooking often turned to lessons for life.  More clear than the image of her grandma’s face were the words she often spoke:  “Dear one, when you are in doubt, look to God’s Word.  It will not fail you.”

Tara sighed.  Looked around.  There was a Bible in the pew.  She flipped through the pages with fumbling fingers, embarrassed that she felt so awkward with the book her grandma knew so well.  Her eyes came to rest upon Psalm 25:20.  “Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!  Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You.  May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait on You.”

Tara looked up to the Cross over the altar.  Again, she heard her grandmother’s voice.  “Tara, when you cannot find the words, God’s Spirit speaks them for you.”  Now, more confident, Tara turned the pages to Psalm 56.  “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?  Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.  This I know, that God is for me.  In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me” (8-11)?

Later, at home, Tara wrote in her journal: Today, I am thankful for my Grandma who, years ago, reminded me that I can trust God with my life.  I am angry with the man who hurt me.  I will never forget what he did.  But, I don’t have to let this evil thing define me.  The man did wrong.  I did not.  The man sinned against God.  I choose not to sin against God by turning away from Him.  Dear Jesus.  Hold me close.  Move me forward… out of darkness into Your light.”

A question remains.  It is for the grandmothers of young women like Tara.  Are we reminding our granddaughters that their identity is not shaped by what happens to them, but by the Lord Jesus who died for them?

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