I often get email from younger women who are wondering about applying scriptural principles into every day life. They know what Scripture says, but are not sure how to set standards based on the principle. So, they ask me what we’ve done in our home and I usually hesitate to tell them. Why, you ask? Well, I am more of a principle/big picture person, and I really don’t think just telling someone what to do is a healthy approach. The best approach is to allow the Holy Spirit to convict them.
Many times a younger woman will hear advice or be given unsolicited advice and based on either guilt or fear, assume that this advice MUST be the only way although she’s never even prayed about it or allowed the Word of God or the Holy Spirit to guide her into that decision.
What is dangerous about letting others set your standards/practice is that often the loudest, most vocal person in your life will often persuade you that his/her way is right. So much damage can be done when women are not discerning about who they listen to for family advice. The more they promise about your family turning out perfectly, please run! If we can depend on their failproof methods, then we wouldn’t need to depend on Christ.
When I am asked about why we do certain things in our home, I will often point younger women to certain parts of Scripture that deal with that specific topic and tell them to read, pray and ask their husband. I am not trying to make converts to my way of thinking, but am trying to make followers of Jesus Christ. Sometimes this frustrates women.
I have to say that it is really not my “style” to tell people what we do or don’t do in our home. Perhaps it is my own coping/balancing mechanism. I have known FAR too many Christian women who seem ALL too eager to vocalize and compare what THEY do or what they DON’T do with other women, and will honestly get into squabbles about it. They might be right on an issue but have a serious lack of humility. I am sure they are well meaning, but, to me, it just seems so pharisaical or “in your face” to offer that kind of non-essential advice when it is unsolicited. I think any honest mother will tell you that they pray their way through parenting. So, it has taken me a long time to decide to answer some of your questions online.
Please understand that just because we do something one way, we don’t assume that this is the only way. In fact, your husband is the final authority on what you do or don’t do in your home.
If Peter and I disagree on standards or practice, I submit to him, remembering in Scripture that God says that he is the God-ordained leader of my home. It is more important for me to honor his authority than it is for me to get my own way on every little thing. In fact, one of the best lessons you can teach your teenage daughters is to set the example of submitting to your husband’s leadership when you disagree. “Submission starts at the point of disagreement” is sound advice from a godly older woman.
So this week, I will be answering a few questions from readers. Please give me grace if you disagree. I know that we aren’t perfect, and that we are still growing and learning! Email me your pressing questions, and I will either answer privately via email or publicly on the blog.