Think of all the godly women you know. Who is the sweetest woman you know? How about the most selfless woman? Do you think of them and desire to show Christ as they are?
All of us are described with many words. We are a multifaceted jewel with a flesh that still desires to sin. But, our everyday focus must be on reflecting the character of Christ. A selfless, sweet, and submissive woman cannot be those things without setting her mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2).
You may not be the sweetest, most selfless woman and you may struggle every other hour with being submissive, but don’t let that discourage you from falling on your knees and begging God to help you be more like Christ.
Remember God will complete the good work He began in us!
Here are 6 small steps (with giant results!) you can begin taking today to put you on the path to being more Christ-like.
Do not gossip. Don’t do it! Hold your tongue. Walk away. Turn the conversation. Gossip is the fast track to being known as NOT sweet.
“Older women, likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips…” (Titus 2:3).
Before you write that verse off as only for the “older women,” as I once did, remember everyone is older than someone. We are all commanded to not be gossips.
Always say something kind. This is overly simple, yet ridiculously difficult. When you are hurt, offended, threatened, insulted, attacked or just being way too sensitive, the fleshly instinct is to bite back. But, God’s Word tells us to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
Practically, for us this means DON’T SPEAK until you have prayerfully considered your words.
In your private study, read through these verses on speech: Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 4:6, Proverbs 15:1-2, 15:28, 17:28*, 21:23, 31:26*, Psalm 141:3* (stars are verses that made the biggest impact for me).
Be hospitable. 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” Ouch. In this one short verse are two commands. Be hospitable and do it without complaint. Ladies, this is not easy. I love having people over, but it’s usually only when I’m feeling good and my house is in order.
When Peter wrote these words, persecution was high, Christians were on the move, and “hotels” were expensive and few. Christians opened their homes to these “strangers” (in the Greek the word translated as hospitable means “love of strangers”) to provide shelter, food, comfort and fellowship. Some things are different now, but the provision should still be the same. Our homes are to be a haven for all believers, not just our best friends on our best days.
Whatever is preventing you from being hospitable without complaint, I encourage you to go to the Lord with this specifically. Remember, if we are being good stewards of what the Lord has given us then we have nothing to worry about; your house is big enough, your food is good, your furniture is just right. However, bigger than all those should be the warmth and love that comes from your heart, overshadowing everything else.
Serve others. Start with your husband. When you’ve just sat down with your bowl of ice cream and cozy blanket and your husband asks for a glass of milk, don’t sigh and grumble. Learn to find joy in giving up your comfort to serve others. The world/sin has so tainted our minds that we’ve forgotten one of the reasons God created us! We are to be helpmeets to our husbands. Who else (on earth) are we to find more joy in serving than the man God gave us to share life with?
The world has spoon-fed us the lie that we deserve “me time.” If I can exhort you to do one thing, it is to put away this selfish thought. Christ is the ultimate example in all things, but especially in His service to others. All through the Gospels we read of Jesus’ selfless service and sacrifice. Serving others extends outside our family, but starting at home is a great way to change the course of our hearts.
“Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18, emphasis added).
Love bears all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). What does it mean to “bear”? Certainly not to be a bear. No, it means we are to endure the inevitable pain that will result from sin. Where there is love, there will be pain because there is sin. Your husband is not perfect. Yes, he is to love you like Christ loves the church but as often as you mess up the “in everything submit to your husband,” he too will stumble. It’s not an if-then command, though.
This step involves great strength. Strength that only Christ can give us. Take steps 2 and 4 above and run with them. Pray fervently for a humble heart, gentle spirit and an overflowing portion of patience.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Desire your husband. When you want to be with your husband out of love and respect it is much easier to submit to his lead. Don’t look at intimacy as a duty or obligation and don’t take the world’s view of sex (that it’s only exciting when done outside of marriage or in an adulterous relationship). A book that radically helped me address the problems I had was Intimate Issues by Dillow and Pintus.
Whatever mental hang-ups you may be struggling with, I highly recommend meeting with a biblical counselor or at the least a mature, married woman in your church. My mentor-friend-counselor guided me through this book and the Bible and the result was restoration of a correct view of intimacy.
What steps will you implement today? Which will be hardest?