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Women Who Win

 

Myths Women Believe!

 

Satan puts totally wrong and unscriptural ideas into the minds of women to make them unfruitful. Many women believe those lies and miss the will of God in their lives. I wish to expose atleast seven such lies.

1. I am less than man.

No, you are not. If husband is the head, wife is the neck, both equally important. Which is important in a car—the steering wheel or engine or gear? Family is an organisation. The woman is as imporant as the man.

There are only two kinds of people—the scriptural and unscriptural. Jesus taught, “Blessed are the poor in spirit...blessed are the meek,” not man or woman. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world.” His emphasis was, ‘You’ not man or woman. Who is the greatest? Man or woman? “Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:4). “Whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 5:19). Our mind should not be on competing with men, rather developing the spiritual person in us.

Galatians 3:26-28 reads, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” When someone comes wearing the Christmas father costume how will you know whether it is a man or a woman inside? It is just the same when you put on Christ. He makes us all one.

When you think you are inferior to man you try to do what a man does, to feel superior. First Satan feeds the wrong idea and then pushes you to be like man, so you’ll neglect your God-given calling. Not the Bible. The Bible is not against women working outside the home. Neither am I arguing for a return to the time when women never held a job. For man, the commandment is, yes. To labor and sweat and earn bread is the punishment given to man. Why do you want to punish yourself in addition to bearing children in pain?

When women overwork the worst casualty is the Kingdom of God. Less prayer for the Kingdom, less laborers and less women to study and teach the Bible. Women ministers and Women Bible Studies are dwindling. Women want a job because they love independence and self-esteem. If they are given these at home they may not hunt for a job. The huge influx of women into the workforce and their increased mobility make young girls totally rebuff the idea of being a housewife.

If you are particular, you can work from home or take up a part- time job. Since a woman’s future is unpredictable it is good for her to qualify for a job which may come in handy in any emergency.


2. I must obey my husband 100%.

No, you need not. Husbands are not gods. They are as human as we. For the organisational setup God made man as the head, so that the system will run smoothly. He can make mistakes as much as we. Not just unbelieving husbands, believing husbands too.


Before calling women to submit to their husbands Paul preambles from verse eight onwards of Ephesians chapter five: “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (v 8). We must walk in the light God has given us, not blindly. “... finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” (v 10). We must first discern if what we are going to do will be happily accepted by God. “Awake you who sleep, arise from the dead and Christ will give you light” (v 14). We are not to be asleep or like dead bodies which can be pushed around, rather seek the light that Christ gives. “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise” (v 15). ‘Circumspect’ means to take into account all circumstances or consequences and be prudent. “Submitting one to another in the fear of God ” (v 21). When it comes to the question of submission, fear of God must dominate, not fear of the husband. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord ” (v 22). Ask yourself the question,


“Will the Lord ask me to do this?” “Just as the Church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything ” (v 24). Even if you disagree and cannot obey in certain things see that you do it with a submissive spirit and not arrogantly.

After teaching so much about discernment, propriety, wisdom and understanding Paul did not definitely encourage mindless obedience. So many disasters have happened because women obeyed 100%. Think of Sapphira. If God did not want women to think and act, why is so much written about “sound mind” for women in the Bible? Use your common sense. Stop obeying when you sense danger. “Young women to be discreet... obedient to their own husbands” (Tit 2:5).

In one of our Family Camps, forms were distributed to husbands and wives to fill up. One husband had written, “My wife doesn’t obey me.” I felt sorry for him. But when the wife’s form came up, I saw she had written, “My husband is a drunkard.” Whom shall I pity? A man who does not obey his wife in matters of wine and women is not worthy of her obedience. This does not mean she should totally disregard him but choose when not to obey. Be careful to observe 1 Peter 3:1-4, remembering that the ‘conduct’ includes intelligent obedience and the disobedience must be with a gentle and quiet spirit.

Colossians 3:18 reads, “Wives, submit to your own husbands as is fitting in the Lord.” Will the Lord happily nod his head to approve of your obedience? Ask yourself the following questions: Will my obedience bring glory to God? Will it hurt my family? Will it hurt someone? Will it be a good testimony? Does it violate my conscience? Can I tell it to someone joyfully? Am I imitating God by my obedience? Am I walking in love?

A woman has to walk on the razor sharp edge between wisdom and obedience to her husband. Experience will train her in that tight rope walk. Esther did it. If an act of disobedience will bring honour to the husband that is probably wisdom.

3. I lack Wisdom

Who said? Many women lament that they lack wisdom. They believe and accept when society says women are fools. When they act foolishly they condemn themselves. You simply have to grow in wisdom. God’s promise is not for men only. “If ANY of you lacks wisdom” (Js 1:5). All you have to do is ask. Not just for major matters but for mundane decisions too. Not a crash prayer but everyday, earnest, persevering and prevailing prayer. It will be given to us and that too liberally.

I started asking God in dead earnest for wisdom and experienced a change. I have come a long way since then. How many of us do the simple task of asking? Ask in faith without doubting. Your best weapon is your head.

Wisdom is not simply praying for wisdom. It is doing the wise things. Follow the simple rule of thumb given by Jesus in Matthew  7:24, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man” The virtues of wisdom are described in Proverbs chapter 3. But how to make it your own? “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil” (Prov  3:7). Words can’t be clearer. Wisdom is fearing God and running away from evil. Whatever you do, do with the fear of God. When you think something is fishy, have nothing to do with it.Any guidance for the above principle can be found in the Book.

God has given us a spirit of sound mind (2 Tim 1:7 NKJV).

4. I am stymied by oppression

No, you are not. No external force can stymie you. Bible has some funny philosophies like, when you are weak then you are strong. Saul, the little became a mighty apostle; Esther, a delicate girl turned history; when the Hebrews were oppressed they thrived like mushroom spores; if you submit you’ll be exalted. These are contrary to what we believe. Husband, in-laws, parents, peers, boss or anyone, may continually badger you. You can either retaliate or bless them.


The Sermon on the Mount explains to you the paradoxes of the Kingdom of God. If you are poor in spirit, yours is the Kingdom of God; not when you valiantly fight for it. When you mourn, you will be comforted; not when you root out the cause for your  sorrow. The meek shall inherit the earth; not those who trample on the heads of others (Mt 5:3-5). In my own experience I have learned that when I don’t fight my battles, God does it for me.

You may be pushed down, ignored, cast out. Don’t worry. When the Lord saw that Leah was hurt and humiliated, He opened her womb and chose her as the foremother of Jesus and bolstered her morale. He hears not only the cries (Gen 21:17) but also the groans
(Ex 2:24). Instead of fighting, bless those who oppress you. You’ll see wonderful results. Allowing hatred and violence to seethe within will only damage your insides. “You can do all things, no plan of Yours can be thwarted
” (Job 42:2). No one can do anything to thwart God’s plans for you. Talk to God, talk to yourself and turn to the Scriptures. Satan will turn you on. Shoo him away.

During the early years of our ministry, once a team was to prepare breakfast for some leaders. The sister in charge was very jealous of me and would eclipse me. When I begged her to give me some responsibility she said off handedly, “Grind flour for iddly.” You know it is done the previous day. Those days there were no electric grinders and I had to do the grinding in the stone. The next day when the leaders came she was running here and there, trying to impress them and I just stood there jobless.


Never had I felt so sorry for myself. As they were eating, someone asked, “How is idly so soft?” Another piped in, “It is all in the grinding. Who ground the flour?” My husband proudly chimed, “My wife.” All the leaders turned to me and showered praises till I turned beet. Rest is anybody’s guess. God is not unjust. This is only a small example. God has stood by me in all the mis-treatments  I received and taught me that meeting hatred with hatred is futile.

However you should appraise any situation to see if you are drowning in selfpity or if you have tried your best to rise up and shine or if you have failed to be assertive. No one should allow herself to be emotionally or physically bullied by nasty  people. Every person has the right to personal dignity and no one has the right to push you around. Flashes of insight that long experience gives will teach you when to lie low and when to be assertive.

5. I cannot serve God

Why not? First of all understand, taking care of your husband, children, parents, in-laws and your home is serving God. Sweeping and washing is no less. Good works, bringing up children, caring for strangers, caring for servants of God, relieving the  afflicted, managing the house are all women’s ministries (1 Tim 5:10,14).

It is more difficult for a woman to serve God because she faces constant discouragement, snubbing, criticism etc. from everywhere including (many times) from her own husband. Unless she is strong enough spiritually to rise above all these she cannot  accomplish much.

Think of Deborah. If she had said, “I’m a woman, I can’t battle,” what would have happened? Barak did that. He had no confidence in God or himself. So God looked for another person and found Deborah, a woman. She was taking care of her family and was the Chief Justice for Israel. God called her to war. She said, “Yessir.” Could she do it? Not by herself but through the strength of God who called her. What happened in the war? See the miracles that happened— People willingly offered themselves and came to her rescue (Jud 5:2). The earth trembled (v 4). There was torrential rain (v4). The mountains gushed (v 5). The Lord came down (v13). The stars from their courses fought against Sisera (v 20). Floods swept enemies away (v 21). The hooves of the enemy horses split (v  22). Another woman Jael, killed Sisera (v 27). There was very little that Deborah herself did! 

When God called me to Odisha to help the starving, homeless and sick people, I felt like a mole standing before a mountain. Whatever happened to Deborah happened to me. So many came to help. Today our missionaries are doing wonderful work there. Thousands are being helped.

When you say ‘Yes’ to God, you will experience a whiff of fresh air. Are you saying ‘No Lord’? Many of you are resisting God’s call. Bow your head and say, ‘Yes Lord.’

6. I Cannot survive the tragedy

Yes, you can. When you are struck down by illness and catastrophe, assailed by grief, cheated or betrayed, a separation, loss or accident or a drifting marriage, that can turn your life upside down and extinguish your will. There were times when I too felt life was not worth the struggle. I have pulled through a lot of things. Now I rejoice because each tragedy taught me lessons and I am richer spiritually than ever.

Life has no guarantees. You have to take what life gives you and make the best out of it. Some weather tragedy with considerably more equanimity than others. Emotional upheaval can culminate in nervous breakdowns or suicides. So the first and foremost is to let yourself grieve. People may prematurely encourage you to jump back into the swing of things. Grief is reality. Take your own time. Crying, refusing to meet people, refusing to go out are normal and ok.

Grieving people are expected to bounce back within a year. Eventually you have to accept reality, beat the odds, face the challenge and survive. Get out of the shadows and start meeting people. Get together with similar people and form a support group that can reach out to people who are sailing the same boat. Learn new skills, may be computer or painting or anything that interests you. Exercise like walking will help you relax. Learn to enjoy life. Look forward, not backward. Don’t allow yourself to become a prisoner of the past.

God picks the tough ones to deal with tough problems. Maybe you are chosen to have this happen to you so you can teach other women. You can take something horrible that happened to you and turn it around in order to help others.

Nowadays when I sing,

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream; merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream”  it is with a new enlightenment. You can’t spend your life feeling sorry for yourself. So move on! A woman, wife and mother should be like a buffalo. Stand up, take courage, move ahead.

7. I am a total failure.

No, you are not. Don’t say that again. One day I cried that I was an absolute failure; failure as a wife, failure as a mother. My daughter gave me a piece of her mind. “Mom, listen,” she said, “If you are a failure, who is a success?” That set me to  think and the fog lifted. I have counted myself a failure not because I was a failure but because  I had failed to count my planetary successes. Don’t believe the big lie of the devil that you are a total failure. Rather, have a buoyant outlook on life. Recently a lady came from a distant city just to cry over my shoulders and tell me she was a total  failure. When she narrated her tale there were so many extraordinary and brilliant things I noticed she had done. When she ended her tale and sniffed I pointed out to her all her successes. The tears stopped flowing, the sniffing stopped, her face lit  up. “You think I am not a failure?” she pouted. “Absolutely no” I said. She went home a different woman.

Was Jesus a failure because He died on the cross? He became the Savior of the whole world. Was Eve a failure because she failed? She became the mother of all living. Was David a failure because he fell in sin? His Psalm of repentance is lifting up many.  Was the healer and miracle worker Elisha a failure because he died of sickness? (2
Ki 13:14). A dead man was revived when he touched the bones of Elisha! (v 21). Maybe Miriam died a failure in her own eyes. But centuries later the prophet Micah saw her as a leader (Mic 6:4).

You may feel like a failure standing next to a very successful person. Never compare yourself to someone. You are unique to God and you need to accomplish only what God wants you to accomplish. You don’t have to be anything other than who you are.

Identify any jealousy, diffidence, cowardice or sense of inadequacy hiding in you giving you a feeling of worthlessness and try to overcome them. All you need is determination and a stubborn resolution from deep within.

“There’s always a positive in every situation. It might be hard to find, but it is there. A loss can be a gift; a chance to grow. Losing has taught me to be a better winner and a better person, who is always looking for opportunities to learn. And in life, just like in tennis, that’s how you go forward” — said Olympic Tennis Champ Serena Williams after a defeat. Failure is not the end of the world.

We are obsessed with our negative — our failure. Instead we need to concentrate on our strengths and develop where we shine. There is nothing more self-destructive than self-putdown. “If things don’t happen to you, you have to make them happen. You never  wait for life to happen to you—you rush towards life with open arms” said someone. You are the master of your own destiny. So rise up and make a success of yourself.

Do not believe the lies of the devil. Believe the truth of God and live!  

 

 

 


   Address for Correspondence & Contributions:

Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
Tel: +91 9843511943
Email: lilianstanley@gmail.com

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