Fight or Flight ~ the Plight of the Discontented Wife

(Warning:  This is an OUCH, and an encouragement.)
As an older woman who has over the years images
taught and mentored younger women, I want to share some of what I have learned from this experience.

Only three of those I mentored were single, but all had an original desire to know and live a full life in Christ. All discipling was personal and biblically based. Christ was the center of each relationship; the prayer was always to seek the Lord’s will in the hearts and lives of each one that I mentored. Some came to me; others I took under my wing.  None were forced,  but each had a seemingly sincere desire to know and grow in Christ.

Each one was unique; and I was amazed sometimes at what the Lord was doing in the lives of those He allowed me to spend time with.

With some, the mentoring stopped at a certain stage because they were not willing to submit to God’s word in a certain area of their lives. They had not fully understood the cost of following Christ.  There are not many women today who are seeking older women for the purpose of knowing how to love and obey their husbands.

The Blight of the Church
In mentoring, and beyond those personal relationships, I write here of what I have observed in the church. Not just younger women, but older ones have been the decision makers for their families. We have had many such families leave our church.  It was well known that the wife was dissatisfied; either with relationships, the doctrine, the programs or activities of the church.

There are many women today who are leaving their husbands for no reason except that they are unhappy with where they are.  Many are being deceived, even as Eve was, by the same spirit of discontent.  Christian women who are not abused and whose husbands have remained faithful are hearing the commercials from lawyers who stand with them in public courts to declare their freedom from any authority over them.

What these do not understand is the oppressive spirit that pervades not only their own lives, but the lives of their husbands, the life of the churches of which they are members, and others with whom they shares their problems.

Where there is discontent, the whole church is affected. We are members one of another. It is like a sickness that pervades the whole body.   Only the work of the Holy Spirit can heal and make the church a healthy church that is able to fulfill its purpose. The practice of church discipline is not known in many churches today, but is effective to a degree. The discontented wife is not excommunicated until her discontent is actively displayed; in the case of railing against her husband and the church, and refusing to repent.

Suggestions For Mentors
Be cautious at what age and stage you become a mentor. Paul warned the church against new converts becoming deacons and elders. The older women, mentioned in Paul’s letter to Titus, would have been those with wisdom and knowledge, and years of experience. Being a friend who is able to listen and sympathize is different from leading another person in their relationship with the Lord; and teaching them to love and obey their husbands.

It is easy for one who is being mentored to become dependent on their mentor. The purpose of mentoring is to direct their way to Christ; to total dependence on Him.

And this is not to take the place of, but directed to, their own personal study of God’s word, personal prayer, the preaching of God’s word and counsel from their pastors.

This time should be limited. After a year, those who are being led should be able to go and grow on their own.  A mentor can remain a friend and available for special times of need.

I have also written from my own experience of having been that discontented wife; and have learned that contentment is coupled with humility. These two, humility and contentment, have been the main things I have desired and prayed for in these latter years; for myself and others. Here is a quote from Thomas Watson in his book, The Art of Divine Contentment

images“ Here was a sore temptation the devil handed over to Job by his discontented wife. Only his grace, as a golden shield, warded off the blow from his heart. “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women” (job 2:10).
Discontent tempts a man to atheism and apostasy.
Atheism is the fruit that grows out of the blossom of discontent.

” A Christian has that which may make him content. Has not God given you Christ? In Him there are unsearchable riches. He is such a gold mine of wisdom and grace that all the saints and angels can never dig to the bottom. Never complain as long as Christ is your Friend. He is an enriching pearl, a sparkling diamond. The infinite luster of His merits makes us shine in God’s eyes.   In Him there is both fulness and sweetness. He is indescribable good. Lift up your thoughts to the highest pinnacle; stretch them to the utmost; let them wander to their full latitude and extent—yet they fall infinitely short of those ineffable and inexhaustible treasures which are locked up in Jesus Christ. And is there not enough here to give the soul contentment: A Christian who lacks necessities, yet, having Christ, has the one thing needful.”

To the Discontented Wife
If you are not content with your life, whether a wife or not, search your heart. Does Christ have your whole heart? Do you seek daily His word, and in prayer desire His Spirit to lead you in His word to obedience in all that you read? Does Christ speak to you, leading personally through His word? Or do you live, desiring things your own way, and blaming your circumstances on someone else?

My prayer is that God will reveal yourself to you. Once you are able to see yourself as you are, a sinner who is discontent with God and the life that He has given you, I pray that He would reveal Christ to you as your Redeemer; and enable you to believe and follow Him in obedience to His Word and Spirit. In His timing and His way, as He changes us (and sometimes our circumstances) we are able not only to endure all for His sake, but He gives us joy in the middle of our circumstances, and praise, for our deliverance from the oppressive spirit that has controlled our life.

The God whom we have railed against in our discontent becomes our refuge and our life.

If you are the victim of one with this oppressive spirit, Christ will give you the power of His Spirit of humility and contentment; to resist this oppression and live hopefully and fully in Him.

Dear Father, turn our eyes to you in Christ, melt our hearts and unite us in Him and His church.  Make Him to be our only desire, our hope, our joy, and our fulfillment ~ all to your glory, now and forevermore.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Related articles:
The Plight of the Discontented Woman
 Give Your Marriage at Least Fifty Years

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Source: Image 2

Lord of Grace and Glory

For the last several weeks I have been mentoring a young woman who came to our church because of her interest in reformed Baptist theology.  Like me, and so many of our membership, she comes from a Southern Baptist background.  And as so many others I have met, she questions the decision that she made when she was a child—a decision to accept Christ, so as to escape hell. As with many who grow up and encounter a different gospel—the truth that she never heard before—she is finding that fire insurance does not necessarily provide eternal assurance.

I cannot, nor can any minister, family member, or friend, assure her that her decision as a child was valid.  Only the word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit can apply this”seal” to her own mind and heart.  We’re not saying that childhood experiences of faith are not real, but, that if they are, they will last.  They not only last, but they grow.  Even when we have doubts, these may be means of God’s grace to establish our faith and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is not where we were ten or twenty years ago that counts for salvation, but where we are today, in our relationship with Christ.

From my own experience—and so many others who have walked the aisle, shook the pastors hand, done the baptism and church membership—these made little difference in my life. I compare it to the birth of a newborn baby.  We don’t bring the baby home, put it in a crib and leave it there.  We personally hold it, feed it, teach it, bring it to maturity and adulthood.  Discipleship in the church for the past decades has been almost nil.  When church conventions started looking at numbers the emphasis was placed on getting as many as possible to sign “on the dotted line.”  From that point salvation was done, left to the individual, whatever the age. Evangelism has become “the thing” in a lot of churches.  Getting the decisions are the big thing, but how much emphasis is on discipling the new converts.  How many are able to disciple those who are “won to Christ?”

The first part is the exciting part, mostly emotional for a lot of people; but afterward we are required to give ourselves to “sanctification” in “obedience of faith;” to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It is the Word of God that feeds us and the Spirit of God that satisfies our new heart’s desires.  We know nothing of  these things, except as we have someone to teach us.  True, many have on their own, grown without personal help, but this is rare.  We need the whole body of Christ, and someone in particular to take us by the hand, under their wing, and with the truth lead us in the truth; with the “milk” until we are ready for the “meat.”

In part II of this article we will share what Linda and I have recently discovered about Christ, the Lord of  grace and glory, in “Heaven Opened—the Riches of God’s Covenant” by Richard Alleine, a Soli Deo Gloria Publication.