Feb 3, 2012

Friday Special Spotlight...

I have something very special to share with you girls. Our fellow SHINE prayer intercessor and friend, Teddi, has written a beautiful testimony for us. (We call her Aunt Teddi around here. ) :)

She is a prayer warrior like no other. She amazes me with the gift that God has so graciously blessed her with.

She has shared with me that the Lord has laid on her heart that it is her mission to teach and train the younger woman. Oh, what a gift!!

I love the way she mentors me and so many others.

Please read her story and teaching below and be encouraged.

Thank you, Aunt Teddi, for your obedience to the Lord in every area of your life. I love you so much!

Please visit her website at www.womenwhopray.net  if you want to be blessed even more.

Train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.
by Teddi Holt

 It was Beth Moore’s idea in her Believing God study, so we added it to our prayer blanket about a year ago. About 6 months ago, Emily said to combine from Romans 5 where it says that God has shed His love in my heart so that:

I endure long and am patient and kind; I am never envious nor do I boil over with jealousy; I am not boastful or vainglorious; I don’t display myself haughtily. I’m not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride): I’m not rude (unmannerly) and I don’t act unbecomingly. I don’t insist on my own rights or my own way, for I’m not self-seeking; I’m not touchy or fretful or resentful; I take no account of the evil done to me (I pay no attention to a suffered wrong). I do not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but I rejoice when right and truth prevail. I bear up under anything and everything that comes; I’m ever ready to believe the best of every person; my hope is fadeless under all circumstances, and I endure everything (without weakening). I never fail (never fade out or become obsolete or come to an end).

Let’s get more specific. I have to do this…be it the teacher in me or prayer warrior…but if the challenge is out here in the Word for me to do …to live by..then, I have to study to find out how I apply this to me. I mean it’s easy to be kind to kind people. It’s easy not to be jealous or self-seeking when dealing with the nice guys. It is not easy to deal with everyone in our daily walk like those words above tell us to do. We all know that we don’t measure up to this perfection! Why is that?

Well, I can only speak for me. I began to find all the other places in the Word that this word Love appears. Let’s look at the gospel of John. This is the book new believers are told to read first. It is one that we all love. We see the love John has for Jesus and Jesus’ love for John and Jesus’ love for His Heavenly Father. It is John that even tells us that we are all to be one…like He and His Father are one…John 17.

Well, I want us to look at John 14:15. Jesus is talking to His disciples (His students), and He says,
If you love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.

Now, is He speaking to me? Is He speaking to you? Well, let’s see, if I’m the whosoever in John 3: 16, who believes on the LORD Jesus Christ and am saved, and I’m the those who Jesus refers to in His prayer in the Garden, John 17:20, that are to be one with each other and Jesus and Father God, then, I must be the you that He’s referring to here in verse 15.

I said that I have to get specific, so, who am I? I’m a wife, and I’m a mother. Does the Word speak to me specifically? I’m afraid so. And, this is where my blog actually begins today.
According to the book, The Purpose Driven Life, we all have the mission of going forth into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. Then, we have a ministry to the Body of Christ. I have a Titus 2: 3-5 ministry or call:

Bid the older women similarly, to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble. So that they will wisely train the young women to be sane and sober in mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children. To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).

Verse 4 tells us that women must be sane and sober in mind…temperate and disciplined. Do women come this way? Not on your life. That’s why it says that the older women will train them. If you have not had a mother who modeled before you appropriate behavior in loving a husband, then, you need one. I had to pull from some places. My daddy had no daddy role model, and my mama took much of the lead with daddy wanting her there. However my husband had a strong daddy…not a Godly one…but definitely the leader of his mother…she did not always do as he said but he thought she did or else she’d hear about it.

I was about 28 years old, when the LORD told me that I was to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children. I argued…but I am a younger woman…who’s teaching me. Well we’re told that Holy Spirit will teach us all things…and through books written mostly by women, I found my role models. My older sister, Gloria, was also walking this out…and I got in line with her. Mistakes made? Yes, indeed! Perfection? Not till yet…but much more refined…tested and tried in this walk now…and still called to train the younger women.

Alright, now so far, what do we have? If I love Jesus, then, I obey Him. What does He say for me to do? Verse 5 says to control myself, to be faithful, to be a home maker, to be good-natured/kindhearted, to adapt and subordinate myself to my huband…or???? The Word of God is exposed to reproached, blasphemed, discredited. Do we get this? When we do not come under the leadership of our husbands, we blaspheme the Word…we discredit it…we expose the Word to reproach? Why? Because we are daughters of the LORD God , and not daughters of the world.

You can jump around in the Word..from Colossians, to Ephesians to 1 Peter….all say the same. We are to submit to our own husbands…not to all men…but to our husbands. I’m reading from the amplified, which gives us the definitions for the Greek…and chapter 5, verse 33b says…..

And let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him , praises, him, and loves and admires him exceedingly).

What about my husband? He’s not Godly. He is unsaved, or at least he doesn’t live like he’s saved. I am to submit or subordinate myself to him?

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands (subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them0, so that even if any do not obey the Word, they may be won over not by discussion but by the (godly) lives of their wives. When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence (for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband.

Let’s sum up to this point:
1. If I love Jesus, I obey Him.
2. Who am I? Wife and older woman…also mother and grandmother but we’ve not gotten
3. As wife, I submit myself to my husband. I allow him to lead…to make decisions. I even
honor, respect, adore (in the human sense), venerate, esteem, appreciate, prize, praise,
devote, deeply love, and enjoy my husband.
4. If he does not obey the Word…is not saved…or living like he’s not…I win him by my pure
and modest behavior—by a quiet spirit.

Let’s add a little more …verses 3-6:

Let not yours be the merely external adorning with elaborate interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is not anxious or wrought up but is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were accustomed to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them. It was that Sarah obeyed Abraham (following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by) calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you (not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you).

This speaks so loudly and clearly to these days girls! Aren’t we spending much time and even more money on our outward appearance? Aren’t we adorning ourselves…all colors of hair, manicures, pedicures, stylish clothes?? Is that the beauty that we are looking for? Is it what our husbands want? Maybe so, but is it what they need? I’m not saying, we’re not to bathe and look attractive to our husbands…I’m not crazy…but I guarantee my husband is looking for an inner beauty even now…42 years into this marriage. When I’m contentious…God says I’m like a continuous drip!! Whine..whine..whine…that’s pretty continuous. Am I moping? Am I sulking? Am I giving him dirty looks? Or am I ignoring him? Am I playing the game to manipulate him into making me feel better so that I will obey God? Is it his fault? If he treated me better, then, I would submit..then, I would obey? Am I passing the buck?

I have to insert here that not only does my hubby like me better with less makeup and hairdo and nails and a quiet spirit…no matter how I dolled up that contentious spirit…it was not a go! Furthermore, I’d like to say leaning on him as my leader and authority in this home has taken the hysterical fears and unnerving anxieties and given them proper place. Tim’s words, “Will you just stop?” Whether I’m complaining about him…or the circumstance…or the family member …or friend…or whatever…if I share with him, he can quieten me like no one else. I’m so blessed when I remain under my protective covering…God’s perfect plan for me.

God has given us a Key. He has told us how to win our husbands. Win them to salvation. Win them to the Godly walk. If we are stomping around …demanding…or giving him the silent treatment…either extreme is not submission..then we are blaspheming the Word of God. We are showing the world that God’s plan for us as women…as wives…which means for many of us … mothers…then, grandmothers…that God’s plan doesn’t work. God has a divine purpose for his family…and it begins with the woman. In Jack Taylor’s book, that I read more than 30 years ago, One Home Under God, he says, I don’t know why God told women to submit first…He just did! Then, he added, if you are looking for that love from your husband that you think you deserve, where he loves you like Christ does the Church…then obey God. Submit.

Now, for our role as mother… A mother is a parent, so our role as a parent is in cooperation with our Head, the father. The Word says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Many women today, who took their children to church, and who prayed, and believed that they raised their children according to the Word are still waiting for this to come to pass. Many of these women have prodigals. I speak from experience. I still await the wholeness of my own family. I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able..to keep what I’ve committed unto Him against that Day.

And, yet, I’m still called…and often and much…to share the Word’s promises for women who obey. I can honestly say, that I have walked closer and been more obedient as time passes…I’m sure you are seeing the same in your life. I see errors I wish I could change, and I am very thankful that my sins are forgiven and as far away from me as the east is from the west. Jesus did indeed forgive me of my iniquities…and still does. Thank You, Jesus! Still looking for a perfect Teddi. Lol!!!

In the mean time, while I’m still refining and having myself sharpened by iron regularly…I am an elder woman and must teach you what He has taught me. I didn’t like it when I first began to walk with Jesus, but He has given us parents in order to train us..to prune us…to point us …to wash us…to show us how to and how not to act. He did not give children this naturally or He would have not used the words to parents train, discipline, correct, admonish.

Children do not want to be trained. How many books written on toilet training? How many books written on discipline? I taught in the public schools for 19 years plus almost a year of sick leave…and I retired. I have not looked back…not for one moment. Why?

Am I unusual? No, ask most retired teachers. They have huge smiles on their faces. We loved teaching. The problem was that the behavior in children was so bad by the time those of us retired in the last few years, that we could not teach much in a classroom. We not only could not use a ruler or paddle like our predecessors, but we could not raise our voice or even speak firmly to children without students going to counselors, or home to parents who went to counselors, or assistant principals or principals.

Now, if you are a parent of children, and you don’t like them to be corrected by others, then, this is for you so stay with me. None of us like anybody to correct our sweet, precious, little ones…not teachers, or neighbors, or friends, or siblings, or husbands. So, let’s look at this problem and see it through the eye of the Word.

When does the Word tell us to correct our children? It clearly says early…before it is too late!! Who has the children early? Well, it used to be mothers, and they often lived with or near their mothers, and mothers and grandmothers corrected the children…trained, disciplined, admonished. Read about Timothy’s life in the New Testament, about Eunis and Lois.

When I was small, everyone corrected me…not just my parents and grandparents…but my aunts and uncles..my neighbors…my whole church body. I was truly part of my neighborhood, and my church, and my community, and if I did good, they bragged on me. If I was in danger, they came to my aid. If I was bad, my mother didn’t just hear from one…she heard from several. I could not chew gum or talk or pass notes in the balcony during church without my Mama knowing it. I couldn’t date or have a boy friend without my mother knowing about the family…that’s the old school days.

Now, I’m of the old school…living in the new…not only the new community…the new America…the new public school time…but the new church. Parents do not even expect their children to be corrected in church, and, you don’t have churches covered by adult eyes everywhere..and that’s why some of the things are happening today…even at church. As a parent, on a trip with youth, I had a younger woman once say to me you have a dirty mind. I was concerned that all the youth had their own key, instead of only the adult. I’ve been concerned when adults were in different rooms than the kids. Well, my girls ended up in the youth director’s room that year. Dirty mind? No. I love the children, and when I was a child I thought as a child, and I knew that if we set them up to fail..they will!!

In the classroom, the same. If the children do not have to behave, if there are not offices to send students who disrupt the classroom to because the principals and asst. principals have too many meetings, then, it is the teacher’s fault? I wondered what Middle School was for when I first sent my boys. I was the parent at home with all the ideas. I didn’t know until I was there, that bad behavior that began at home was being able to grow and continue through the school. The system allowed bad behavior from parents to control the situation. No one was allowed to help the child improve their behavior.

Now, let’s look at ourselves. Are we modeling? Well, I say we are. We are modeling good or bad…appropriate or inappropriate behavior…not just sometimes but all the time. If we are buying our children all they want and not just what they need…if we are not saying no very often…then, what is that training the child to do. If we say no, but when they cry or pout or scream, or throw themselves in the floor, or whatever it is they do that wears you down, Mama…what have they learned? What will they do the very next time?

The same. We say, “I have a strong-willed child.” Maybe so. So what? Are we to allow them to lead us? To control us? I think not. It’s funny, I have people say to me in the store all the time, “What pretty girls..and so well-behaved.” Why do you think that is?

Well, Mimi won’t take badly behaved girls anywhere. Each has had their time of testing me on that. Each time, I did not allow them to win out. I learned from my previous experience as a mother and even as a teacher, that, if I gave in, I would not only see this behavior again…but worse behavior next time. There’s are reason our elders said, “Better nip that in the bud!” Today, I can take 4 girls to a movie theatre, from age 3 to 8, and they know that there will not be another time if this one is not successful.

I speak the Word, to my grandgirls. I know it better than Mama did, and better than I did when I was a Mama. Praying it 9 years every morning has hidden it in my heart, and it just comes up at the appropriate time. I tell them that Even a child is know by his doings….that lying or cheating, or taking things that do not belong to them are not acceptable by God. We pray together every meal and every night before bed.

Now, my Mama went through a time of being tough on me. My daddy told her that she was making me “cower”. I was dodging her, so and looking afraid around her. He helped her with me…I believe I was her worst behaved…or tried to be. She began never to threaten or correct me when she was angry. Mama wasn’t perfect either…and I was number 3…but I was 10 years younger than my oldest sister and almost 9 years younger than the one nearer me.

I had been a much wanted baby…and was not the boy they hoped for..but daughter #3. I was spoiled by them all..until sister #4 got there. Mama says I still demanded the baby spot after Beth got here. We were only 16 months apart…and Beth had times of being very sick…and Mama’s mother lived with us when I was 5 and 6 years of age..and died..and Gloria married right after Nannie died.

I don’t know how my mother didn’t have a nervous breakdown. And, she had me..who did not like to be told what to do. Thanks Mama for your determination …for training me…for spanking me when I needed it. If you don’t spank, you need to know that it is in the Word. A rod is a stick.
I’m so pleased that learning submission to my Mama…led to submission to my husband…and ultimately to my surrender to God.

I serve the LORD with all my heart today…I’m a prayer warrior and I pray for hours…each day…with people on a conference line…with people on the womenwho pray fb wall. I pray as I go. Had I not learned submission, I could not have surrendered to this call. I pray the WORD only when I pray. How? By praying it daily from the Bible. Where did I learn to serve the LORD? The Name of JESUS? From my Mama! Where did I learn not to interrupt people’s conversations, to be kind, to share, to shut doors properly, to not act out in public? From my Mama.

How many of us enjoy badly behaved children? What do we call them? Brats! We don’t like tantrums…it disrupts all of us. Do we enjoy women who tirade over their husbands? Do we like for them to act like shrews and strut around like they rule? Of course not!

Train, discipline, correct, admonish a child…early…while it is not too late….then, he or she can submit to husband or boss…to the LORD JESUS and His WORD. Hearts are trained from the womb…from the breast…the crib. Babies come here demanding their way….Mama’s have to teach them acceptable behavior. Mamas must train them in the way they should go.

Love you all lots and lots! Hope you’ll have me again, Jill.
Aunt Teddi

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