The Christian woman's life can be summarized by these 3-statements:
1. The beginning of a trial
2. The middle of a trial
3. The end of a trial
One truth that God has brought to the surface of my dirty heart is His estimate of sin in my own life vs. my estimate of sin in my life.
During my visit to the nail salon, a lady sitting opposite me began to talk about children in general. She made this statement - "Parents rarely say NO!" As a mother her remark caught my attention and I said - "Less and less." After the exchange of several one-liners I finished the conversation with this - "Under the veil of knowledge our condition has worsened!" This statement really caught her off guard. She looked up at me and said - "What do you mean?" To which I said - "Women think they know it all - me included; in their marriage, their child-rearing, their pursuit of happiness, their health, and their perspective of their own sense of wrong doing in all of the above."
The more I seek God through reading His word the greater my awareness of sin - particularly in my own life. For too long I have made provision for my flesh and labelled "sin" in my life as a chemical or hormone imbalance. A lack of self-denial and an over indulgent spirit started in the garden with Eve. It's because of our fallen nature that we rarely deny our own flesh and the flesh of our children. What we do in moderation our children will do in excess. If we don't say "No" to ourselves then most likely our children will overindulge in every area of their future lives.
Hormone and chemical imbalance get far too much attention. Do you realize that without a 30-day testing (every day you go to a clinic and have your hormones tested through the salivary glands) - you will not have an accurate hormone balance prognosis. In addition, if saliva were the most accurate fluid for hormone testing then why don't we have saliva pregnancy tests?
We have testing for pregnancy, for drugs of abuse, to predict ovulation cycle, to examine our level of cholesterol, blood glucose, or an evidence of colon or rectal cancer. In fact, a snippet of a child's hair can now confirm the use of illicit drugs (hair drug test) and all within the four-walls of your home.
I'm not discounting the necessity for testing but it does not give us an accurate picture of what really lies beneath the surface of our bodies. God knows!
As a woman who has used the excuse of hormone imbalance; as a 50-year old menopausal mother of a 5-year old - I've misused every excuse under the sun for what the Bible defines as SIN!
Most recently I asked a prominent Psychiatrist this question; "When women come to you with depression, do you send them for specific chemical testing before you prescribe more chemicals?" She said - "No!" I then asked - "What defines a chemical imbalance and is this diagnosis an absolute?" She responded - "We use urine and cerebrospinal fluid testing but they cannot accurately detect neurotransmitter imbalances or chemical imbalances." I said - "Duh!"
Enough said! Whilst I acknowledge there are some sick puppies out there, ask yourself this question; "Did my marriage problem arise prior to my chemical imbalance? Does my hormone imbalance excuse me for being loud-mouthed, inappropriate and consistently unkind with my words toward my husband?"
I think Mrs. Common Sense steps in here now (if she still exists in our imbalanced life) - WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE!
Broad shoulders and a merciful spirit are my middle names. Over the past 20-years God has brought lady after lady across my learning path who suffers from depression and who do not seem to be able to get through this hopeless barrier of despair. I listen to them and then I run to Scripture for wisdom and understanding.
We are all unique in the eyes of the Lord however, there are common threads which bond these women:
- Their homes are a mess
- They are self-absorbed and have no goals
- Their hurt is other's fault
- There is an unwillingness to accept any blame
- They lack discipline in most areas of their life - eating, sleeping, house-keeping, schedule
- They have little or no daily walk with God
- They rarely or never give practical help to others
- Fun-filled activities are scarce
- There is no daily physical exercise
- They don't eat good healthy meals throughout the day
I want to encourage your heart and shine a light of hope into your darkened world...you are not alone. There is a brighter future and you can have a wonderful marriage. Your depression is your classroom and with God's wisdom and guidance you will not just learn to overcome your depression but with specific steps you can safe-guard your mind in the future.
We will all reach a fork in the road of our lives where we are going to experience a heavy-spirit; the death of a loved one, the loss of our identity due to trauma...and many other extremes in life. Despair ought to be a minority not the depressed woman's majority - and depressed women are the majority these days!
Through my own trials and personal struggles I have learned that my joy comes from the Lord and my life's purpose is Jesus, Others, Yourself!
J.O.Y comes from making this list a priority in your life -
Has it ever occurred to you that depression is worsened by our own sin? If we don't get intelligent about our own sin how will be be wise to the simple areas of our lives?
Pride is at the root of all our marriage problems - not Prozac! The heart is the rudder of the soul and until the Lord takes it in hand we steer in a false and foolish way.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
With earnest prayer I ask God to show me what is in my heart. As I daily seek His wisdom I pray that He keeps me from being deluded and destroyed by my own foolishness. The closer I get to God the deeper a sense I have of my own habitual distrust.
Do you realize that our flesh and blood are in the way of our marriage every day? We need to allow our personal weaknesses to be an argument to make us pray earnestly to God for help. Remember David? When he felt himself to be powerless he did not fold his arms or close his lips but he hastened to the mercy-seat with these words - "renew a right spirit within me."
Is God's Spirit cold in you? Do you feel the joy of your own Salvation?
For the Christian woman our home is a daily spiritual exercise. The very classrooms of our faith are the four-walls we dwell in. How we use this tool will decide how we are to succeed in the Christian life. Something as simple as our home is the structural design for stability. Keeping our homes in order is maintaining our minds and sustaining strength throughout our lives.
Depressed women rarely have goals. Set yourself a goal to be a woman of virtue. Set yourself a goal my friend! God gives us knowledge through His Word and preaching and now we must exercise this knowledge in our homes. Fill your home with this renewed spirit. Don’t leave room for fear and doubt. Developing your faith by reading His Word and praying each day will exercise your faith and fill your home with freshness – an irresistible charm!
Our homes ought to be irresistible – to our husbands, our children, and our friends. Our homes are a haven not a rubbish-dump.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10 That means we are hard to find!
During my years as a young woman I had a fascination in outward accomplishments. It is my experience that this lifestyle was united with idleness, prodigality, and a selfish contentious spirit. This kind of behavior created instability in my home. Pursuit of happiness outside the home is not the answer to your problem!
Praise the Lord that by His grace I now have a fascination with the things of God. My desire is wrapped in a resolve to develop virtuousness; in industry, good management, and authority over the affairs of my home. My life is in order when my home is in order! It's that simple ladies. In the spirit of love and kindness I reach out to my husband and my children - that's good Christianity and an act of obedience.
We are the heartbeat of our homes and order in our home equates to order in our lives. We were designed to develop character in our children through the simple daily spiritual exercises in our homes. Spiritual exercises are not restricted to reading Bible verses, praying, and merely listening to the preaching. Spiritual exercising is exercising what we learn from our Bible reading, our praying, and the preaching. We are not a sea-sponge...our Christianity is living and in need of being exercised every day of our lives.
It is an awareness of my weaknesses that drive me to my daily goal. Don’t cut yourself slack by giving excuse to return to old habits. The old ways of being disorganized are a thing of the past.
One day at a time. Don’t look inside the brown paper bag of your life and expect to put the thousands of crushed potato chips back together – toss the bag away! When you wake up in the morning resolve yourself to change the coarse of your depression and with the same resolve - stick to a schedule! The average person functions well on a schedule. Depressed women need a schedule to function at all and to use as their anti-depressant!
I love Pringle potato chips. They represent my life as I create a haven in my home; everything in order and an order to everything!
Our hope is in knowing that God is in control of our lives. Ask Him to give you a renewed spirit in your home. Draft a schedule as your first step and let this run your life. This will create stability before strength catches on through keeping your home in order – I promise!
Steps for Overcoming Depression
- Draw up a schedule for this next week - Wake up the same time every day and go to bed the same time every night. Eat meals on time. Introduce light exercise in your day. Keep a journal filled with your favorite Bible verse as you read God's Word daily. Write 1-blessing you are aware of each day and 1-thing you love about your husband each day...1-thing you love about each individual child...1-thing you love about yourself.
- What room concerns you the most? Begin with this. Get a large garbage bag and begin to throw everything into the bag that you have not used in the last twelve months. As you toss the garbage in your room of choice, thank God that He has shown you the garbage in your own life and now you are eliminating it forever.
You would be amazed at how you spiritually exercise your mind as you bring order in your home. Get rid of the bag!
This exercise creates synergy
A clean home - a clean heart
A right home - a right spirit
"Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40
Life is all about balance. As a Christian woman, this needs to be conducted in a Christ-like manner while balancing priorities, the greater purpose, and the cost to our families through all the decisions we make. God commands us to be an example in our lives and in our homes. We will be accountable at the judgement seat of Christ!
"For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." John 13:15
Do you want to be a great woman one day? I do! The secret to being a great woman is in serving. We must serve our families and others in the spirit of humility and self-sacrifice.
I pray this has been a blessing and has given you a goal to reach for. You no longer have to live in fear. Our fear is a lack of faith. Create a plan! If your heart feels crushed - don't despair. With God, a heart crushed is a fragrant heart.
I love you,