Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For Women Only

A couple of weeks ago, I started a new women's Bible study (new to me, anyway). It's called, "For Women Only~what you need to know about the inner lives of men". You can see the cover of the book to the left.
Can I just say, I highly recommend this study. I, personally, am doing the video/workbook study with a group of women at a church here in town. However, if you're interested in the material and don't know if you have this study going on near you, you can buy her book by the same name. It is really great!

The study focuses on the woman's role in understanding and supporting her husband (or significant other) in becoming all that God intends him to be. In this study, Shaunti gives practical tips, drawn from biblical principles and extensive research with men, to be put into practice with your day-to-day relationship with your husband. I have found her insights to be incredibly surprising at times (he really thinks that?), convicting (is that the signal I was sending when I said/did that?), encouraging (that's how I can respond more appropriately.) and enlightening (that's what God expects of me?).

I'll share an example or two. One lightbulb that went off in my head was when Shaunti shared the verse from Ephesians 5:33: "To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband." She pointed out that in today's society, we are taught that respect is something that must be earned. Respect isn't something that we just go around handing out. I mean, none of us wants to be a doormat, right? However, that's not what God says when it comes to being a wife. It is a direct command. She said that many women love their husbands and think that that is enough; however, the verse never says, "Women love your husbands." God already knew we would do that. It's in our nature. Men are told to love us. We are told to respect them.

She shares how many men feel more respected at work than in their own homes. In my reading today, Shaunti shared that "if a man is not convinced that his woman thinks he is the greatest, he will tend to seek affirmation elsewhere." That may come in many different forms: spending more time at work, chatting up an admiring female, watching or playing sports, or even pornography (according to many experts).

She shares the story of Job and how he went from widely respected and honored to mocked and ridiculed. She also showed how it affected him. It has been eye-opening for me. This is a study I wish I'd had earlier. I've learned ways I've shown disrespect without meaning to. I recognize it in my marriage in other marriages I see, and it can have devastating effects.

1 Peter 3:1-2 says, "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the Word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior."

LOVE that!

I have so much more I want to share about this study...like the quiz she has for women about how we feel about things our husband do and say. And she has a quiz for husbands (I was way surprised by some of the answers). However, for now I'll just leave it at highly recommending this book or study. Know that it will cause you to look at things from a one-sided point of view. It absolutely doesn't mean that your husband doesn't have work to do himself; rather, it shows you what you can do to make things better in your marriage or relationship.

I'll share one more of Shaunti's quotes and a verse:

"On the home front, men judge themselves and feel that others also judge them based on the happiness and respect of their wives. Even the simples words of appreciation will translate into a sense of security for your man."

And the verse:

Love must be without hypocricy. Detest evil; cling to what is good. Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor." Romans 12:9-10


These Three Kings said...

this was on e of my favorite books!!!
I really enjoyed it!!

thanks for the reminder