Chapter 12: Dream with Me

Chapter 12-  Dream with Me

DING! I could so relate to Kimberly’s statement, “Yes, of course!” if she were asked if she submitted to her husband’s leadership.(pg 250) Sadly, I secretly identified even more with the proclamation, “ He’s the head, but I’m the neck that turns him any direction I want.”

After pouring over, studying and blogging all 12 chapters of this book, the BIG IDEA honestly didn’t hit me full swing until I began reading and praying over pages 250-256.

BONNNNNNG!!!!!! The mighty meaning of the marriage metaphor, zinged me right between the eyes. I am sure God was hitting his forehead with the palm of his hand saying…”Finally, she is starting to get it!”

This is how I explain it to myself…. So, God and Christ are equal. But, even so, Christ submitted to God and allowed himself to be sacrificed for our sin. The Church is to submit to Christ.  And, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves His Church. Therefore, “in the same way” wives are to submit to their own husbands, “so that” the Word of God will not be dishonored.NASB (emphasis mine)

WHOA! That is motivation to work harder on submitting to my husband in a way that Christ submitted himself to the cross.

If this still didn’t ring your bell, get to a quiet place. Pray hard for the Holy Spirit to ignite your heart, mind and soul with His Word.  Do the study below and ask Him to speak to you clearly.

What can you learn about your personal role of submission from studying and praying over these passages below?

  1. “In the same way”- 1 Peter 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13 Pg. 252
  2. 2.“So also wives”- Ephesians 5:22-24 & 5:1,2 Pg. 254
  3. 3. “So that”- Titus 2:3-5 Pg 255
  4. THE MAIN POINT…*Christ chose to use marriage as a mighty metaphor to describe His love for the church.

Brainstorm words that describe Christ’s sacrificial love for His Church/Us. Example:

  1. Selfless
  2. Humble
  3. Patient

Pray and thank God for each one of your words on your list. Then select the most powerful Word to put in the first blank. Complete the phrase with heartfelt sacrificial action to love your husband like Christ sacrificially loves His Church.

An example of Christ’s sacrificial love for the church is

___________________________.

One thing I will try in my marriage to emulate Christ’s love for the church is____________________________.

(If you want, you can focus on one thing you will do to improve intimacy in your marriage.(Suggestions on pg. 189)

Example: Christ’s sacrificial love for His church is selfless. One thing I will try in my marriage to emulate Christ’s love for the church is to sacrifice my worry about Tim’s health and allow his God’s perfect peace to rescue me from the pit of unwarranted anxiety.

My treatment of my husband is directly linked to bringing God glory. -Wagner

We can be a powerfully fierce warrior and fight for our marriage if we submit to our Father, His Word and our husbands in love and respect.

Ephesians 5:22-24

 

 

 

Chapter 11- What’s the Big Deal About Marriage Anyway?

What’s the big deal about <talking> about the institution of marriage anyway? This is my title for this chapter.

I’m going to layout Ephesians chapter 5 here, along with her questions of reflection. Then let’s have a healthy, God-honoring flow of conversation surrounding the topic.

Ephesians 5, NLT

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us[a] and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.

{What does verse 3 say about keeping yourself for your husband only? How would facebook flirtations or using romance novels as a form of fantasy to fuel your sexual appetite fit in with the message of this verse?}

4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,

“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

{Here (6-14) we see the principle of light opposing the darkness. How would you apply this passage to the culture’s view of sexual morality? Of marriage? }

15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

{In verses 22-23, what does it say about the role of a husband? What are the parallels for the husband and the wife, and how do they operate with each other?}

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[b] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[c] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

How do we, as Godly Fierce Women in the works,

display the great mystery?

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Session Six 7/4-7/11 Ch.9

Chapter 9- Session 6- The Biggies 7/4-7/11

triangle
fimum23.fwordpress.com

Intimate Connections~God uses marriage as a metaphor to compare how Christ loves and relates to us. A triangle is a simple visual for marriage. If we strive to seek God first in our personal walk and then with our husband; we can’t help but grow closer to Christ and our spouse. The same goes for our intimate relationship with our husband. How can you use your sexual intimacy in our marriage to glorify God?  I appreciate Kimberley challenging us to commit to putting forth a more concerted effort into preparing our mind and body for sex with our husband than we expend on shopping…(Hey, maybe “Black Friday Specials” can take on a whole new meaning for your husbands  ladies! 🙂 Come on, I dare you!  Let’s make a plan to be feisty, sexy and fierce women of God in our marriage! Shake it up ladies! (This is your first homework assignment this week.)

Christian mentors are a valuable resource access also.  I have two older Christian sisters in Christ who were not inhibited to talk to me about sex in marriage. They have given me some good pointers. If we are our husband’s only sexual outlet, how can we mix things up to keep the fire burning in the bedroom? Take a look at some of the suggestions on pg. 189. Are you a wildcat or a wet blanket? Pray and ask God to help you determine what you might do to improve your sexual intimacy with your husband then, give it a try.

Only Life-giving Words~

“I can’t hear you when you are criticizing me.” Ouch. That statement packs a punch. For this section, let’s really dive into scripture that relates to the power of our words. Review the verses that Kimberley references regarding how we can edify and build up our husbands (or tear them down.) Select one or two verses to pray over. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how you might bridle your tongue to honor your husband.

 

Proverbs 10:19

Proverbs 18:21

Proverbs 21:23

Proverbs 27:15

Ecclesiastes 3:7

James 1: 26

James 3:3-6

James 39:1

 

Don’t Give Up!~

 Matthew 19:4 clearly states, “and the two shall become one flesh.”

           MAN+WOMAN=1

We need to never stop fighting for our marriage. God will give us just enough strength to win our marriage battle. I agree with Kimberley’s statement,”Vows are lightly made and easily broken when self-centered feelings take priority.”We need to remember to die to self daily and keep our hearts close to the cross.  Take a look at the “Staying Power” list on Page 203. What advice do you think would be helpful?  My personal favorite that my mom and grandmother taught me was to “take the word divorce out of your vocabulary.” If we set our minds once again with Christ at the top of the triangle, he can sort out and heal our unhealthy hearts.

May your marriage be so fierce that your heart beat could run through your husband’s body. ❤

 

 

Chapter 8 – There Is No One Else Like My Man/ “How He Ticks” Test -see directions in the homework section at the bottom of this post.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building each other up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph. 4:29

We have a common statement around our home that we say, “Is that building up or tearing down?” Funny how easy it is to hold someone else accountable but so hard to hear when someone reciprocates the reminder.

I would like to start by building you up. Congratulations! YOU GO GIRL!!!!  Way to focus on trying on encouraging your man! Baby steps matter!  Think back to before you started reading and applying God’s truth to your marriage. Can you pinpoint a raised awareness of what you say and do?  Are you making tiny steps toward improvement?

Pat yourself on the back and thank God for his unending grace! (No self- bashing now) God wants us to be on the alert for how we can edify, respect and encourage our man, not focusing in on what we are not doing.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Stop and pray. Put this verse above into a personal prayer. Ex. “Oh Lord of hope. Please fill me with all joy and peace…”

Our goal this week is to earnestly study how our husband “ticks” and try out new ways to RESPECT, ENCOURAGE, HONOR and ACCEPT our man right now. As he is, TODAY.

Here is your homework for this week:

  • Click on the link and print out the test. How He Ticks Test
  • Ask your husband to take the test. Let him know he can answer briefly and only needs to complete 10 or more questions. Remind him there are no correct answers and that his answers are just between the two of you.
  • Study his answers carefully. Secretly plan out and execute 3 little things you are going to initiate this week to edify your man.
  • We would love it if you would post your encouraging idea(s) in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

 

 

                

 

 

 

 

 

 

Session 7, Chapter 10 7/12 – 7/18

What If He’s Not Listening?

I love how Kimberly is constantly taking us to places and times in her marriage where she found herself most destructive. Even if your husband isn’t a truck driver…haven’t we all had moments where we just wanted our men to know how miserable we are? Do we show it through our harsh words and actions?

I certainly have.

But I am thankful that God has helped me see through the years where my hurt lies so that I can see that it is not my man’s fault.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Can we say that again? Our struggle is not against humans! Not our husbands, or what they’ve done, not done, will do, etc.!

Since we’re already in Ephesians this week…why not build that platform of influence in Ephesians 4, then jump over to Ephesians 6 and put on the whole armor of God.

I once heard Beth Moore say that she oftentimes lays her face with her Bible wide open hoping that His word would just sink into her heart, mind and soul while she sleeps. Can we get an Amen?

Building a Platform of Influence –

I oftentimes feel as though I need to be influencing people. I see it as a gift to encourage other’s through words and acts of service. If you’ve got the gifts, use them, right?

It has taken me a long time to realize that the people that are right in front of me, in my face all day long, are MY PEOPLE! My husband and my children deserve these gifts above anyone else.

So take some time to read through the verses in all of Ephesians chapter 4. Then we are all well on our way to Becoming a Woman of Influence in our Husband’s Life.

Your Husband’s Sin –

As Kimberly states, “…Scripture doesn’t present a model for marriage that encourages the wife to stuff issues that need to be discussed or to sit idly by watching her husband caught in a destructive addiction. We’re instructed to humbly and lovingly confront the sin of a fellow believer…”

It’s a delicate balance, don’t you think? How can we humbly and lovingly confront?

I would encourage you to pick up a copy of Unglued, by Lysa Terkeurst. In the book, she breaks down four different ways that we manage our feelings through reactions and honestly, they align right with how we talk to our spouses (whether we are trying to confront sin or not).

Terkeurst talks about either being The Exploder Who Shames Herself, The Exploder Who Blames Others, The Stuffer Who Builds Barriers, or The Stuffer Who Collects Retaliation Rocks.

When looking at question 3 on pg. 228, if you find that you need to self-reflect before building a platform of influence, finding your reaction type might be helpful.

Thank you for staying with us on this journey to becoming a Godly Fierce Woman. Who would’ve thought the journey would take us through this! It is hard-heart work, and you must keep going!

But the great news is, you can do hard things. You’ve got the power of Christ in you!

beautiful-girl-you-can-do-hard-things

 

Fierce Women Book Study

Ladies,

Do you wrestle with the urge to control? What about power; do you silently crave it? Is it important for you to be right most of the time?

Are you lacking contentment in your marriage at times? Would you prefer being filled with gratitude and a heart of peace that spills into your marriage?

Do you long for your identity and value to be rooted in your relationship with Christ?  I,(Melissa Swenson) must humbly admit that I have said yes to all of these questions)

If you can relate too, join us this summer for a life-changing book study, Fierce Woman: the Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner.(Christian Book Distributors, ibooks or Amazon)  Discover the power and potential you can have as a godly fierce woman.We will meet face to face at 6:30pm.  May 30th, June  20th and July 25th at Robby Ferrufino Park. (Bring a chair)

Between meetings, you can join our discussion and study online as well, though not required.Invite your friends and family to our online study if they are out of town or can’t make our meetings in the park.

Beware ladies, this study is not for the faint of heart, it is for fierce women who want to build their walk with God and their marriage too.

The beauty of of a woman’s strength, is when she is under God’s control.

Week Two 6/7 – 6/13

Where is the Man I Married? / The Deadly Three

Years ago, I hosted a BBQ at my tiny apartment in Denver. The space was crowded with young twenty-somethings. My boyfriend at the time and I loved hosting and having friends over for food and fun.

I’m a hospitality girl. Cruising the room and checking in with others, making people feel comfortable is my jam. So here I am bopping through the party and noticed that something needed to be done. Perhaps the burgers needed to be started, or we needed more ice…you get the picture. Whatever that something was, in my busyness I spoke to my boyfriend from across the loud room. Whatever command it was, I assertively asked my boyfriend to take care of it. It’s what we did. We worked together, right?

Wrong. A lovely gal who was invited by one of our friends stated, “Wow! When you ask him to jump, does he say, ‘How high?’” Wow. And ouch. I simply carried along and brushed off the statement as if it didn’t happen. But oh my, how it punctured my soul.

That’s the first moment where I can recall me being a Destructive Fierce Woman.

And you know what? I married that man. I’ve selfishly ignored the signs all along the way. So when we talk about the Fierce Woman/Fearful Man cycle, oh I see it. I see how my power of influence turned into the power of pressure. (p. 58)

 

Answer the questions in the back of chapters three and four. For our time here let’s discuss the questions below.

Chapter three was perhaps the hardest read for me thus far. Having to mentally check the list of things on the EMASCULATION acronym, was hard.

How about you?

Are you, even unwittingly, contributing to the emasculation of the men around you? (p. 73)

In chapter four, she discusses ingratitude, pride, and fear. Do you struggle with any (or all, like me) of these?

But wait…Faith Markers!

Take some time to reflect on God’s promises. The Psalms are a great place to start if you are looking for one that fits where you are. Write your Psalm (or portion of it) on an index card and keep it visible. Try to memorize it so that when you are caught in moments of ingratitude, pride or fear, you have it ready to go!

psalm 100

Fierce Woman Online Book/Bible Study

Ladies, 

Do you wrestle with the urge to control? What about power; do you silently crave it? Is it important for you to be right most of the time?

Are you lacking contentment in your marriage at times? Would you prefer being filled with gratitude and a heart of peace that spills into your marriage?

Do you long for your identity and value to be rooted in your relationship with Christ?  I,(Melissa Swenson) must humbly admit that I have said yes to all of these questions.

If you can relate too, join us this summer for a life-changing book study, Fierce Woman: the Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner.(Christian Book Distributors, ibooks or Amazon)  Discover the power and potential you can have as a godly fierce woman.

Join us (Right here!)  bestillandknowpsalms4610.wordpress.com

Beware ladies, this study is not for the faint of heart, it is for fierce women who want to build their walk with God and their marriage too.

Not sure you can make the commitment? Are your summers usually buried in beach balls, BBQ’s, unpacked coolers and “SPF 300”? (No it doesn’t go that high…100 SPF is tops)

 I dare you to get the book  Fierce Women by Kimberly Wager, and read the first 2 chapters. Then join us online if you think this book study can help you grow in your walk with Christ.

We will launch an online study here on May 31st and discuss Chapters 1 and 2.

Want More?

Check out Kimberly Wagner’s site and blog

Listen to the Wagner’s share their story of how God grew their marriage in a fierce way! -Focus on the Family ($1.99)

The beauty of of a woman’s strength, is when she is under God’s control.  How  is God  helping you to improve your marriage?