Monday, October 13, 2008

Biblical Submission

Now there's a title that will grab your attention!

You know what I am talking about, right ladies? That one word in the Scriptures, that many of us, if we were truly honest with ourselves, would rather it not be there. BUT, you know what? It is, so we have to deal with it. We can try to explain it away. We can pretend it only applied in a certain time. It certainly isn't for us "liberated" women is it?

Sorry, sistas! WRONG-O! Life will not get easier if you just ignore this one little word. So I have decided not to.

(By the way, for all of you guys who read the blog, don't stop reading, remember you are to be submissive as well.)

I used to teach a ladies' Bible Study at my church. In just about every study I did, this word would come up. I always wondered why it was such a stumbling block. Part of it has to do with our culture I think, and the lies Satan would have us believe about who we are supposed to be as women. We don't have to take nothin' from nobody, right? Don't tell me you haven't thought it. I have actually had a strong Christian woman tell me that Paul was a chauvinist for what he wrote about women. Part of it has to do with our own sin nature, whose roots we can trace all the way back to the Garden. We just don't wanna!

I can't tell you how much this perspective breaks my heart. And let me tell you, if there was once a woman with more of a rebellious, independent spirit than me I would be amazed. So I am not speaking as one who does not understand. I do. I know. I have bucked every authority God has placed in my life. My father, my pastor, my government, my husband and my God. I have been there and I am here to say it isn't pretty.

The purpose of this first post on this topic, however, is to guide you to the study I am doing. There is a link on the left side of our blog or you can find it here. The study is being led by a sweet sister in Christ with a passion for directing people, women in particular, to the Word of God and to living lives in passionate devotion and service to Him (at least that is my impression).

But she also tends to be a bit of a slave-driver. Just kidding Sunny! Actually there is homework that goes along with every lesson and one of the assignments is posting an entry on our personal blog about what we are learning and how we are growing as we are journeying (is that a word?) to become biblically submissive women.

So my first assignment is to write a little about myself, how I came to find the blog and why I want to do the study. Is this not the coolest? This is Bible Study the 21st century way (but the message is the same), connected with women around the globe. I mean, is that just not so neat? Who gets opportunities like that on a daily basis, to join hearts and prayers with sisters on the other side of the world, and right next door? Very powerful stuff, but I digress. (Shocking I know).

My name is Lisa. I am an almost 31 year old woman (Yikes!). My wonderful husband is Rick, God's gift to me. We have been married for nearly 8 years and together for about 11. This, in itself, is a miracle. Just ask my dad. I was raised by a single dad and he will tell you that I am an extremely difficult person to live with. You might call me high maintenance. While motherhood has mellowed some of that out of me, my husband does not have it easy. A sad truth? Rumor has it that people were placing bets at our reception on how long our marriage would last. An even sadder reality? I think we have beaten them all! Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy and for a most patient, loyal, faithful and loving husband. Love you sweetie! It's been a wild ride but there is no one I would rather share it with.

I am also a mother of three. We have a 6 year old daughter, a 3 year old son and our second son will be one in less than a month (yikes!). And just to answer the question everyone always asks, yes there will be more little Epsteens. I am a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom. So that pretty much sums up my life.

I am a former Director of Women's Ministries for my church. (Be patient with the website, it's under construction). I share this part of my life not to toot my own horn, but to show how God has been working in my life recently. I LOVE women's ministries. My background is in biblical counseling and I love speaking to, encouraging and teaching women. It is one of my greatest passions. However, as the demands on my schedule have increased with homeschooling and other responsibilities I started to realize that my family was getting my leftovers. Don't get me wrong, I loved my ministry and my church. But after much prayer and seeking the guidance of my husband I realized I had to step down. This was such a hard decision to make, but I have recently come to realize that my primary biblical responsibility and ministry is to my family. Even more important is maybe the realization that that is okay. We stay-at-home moms often struggle to find significance in what we do. But I cannot sacrifice my family for my church. And I know my church does not expect me to. I was very nervous as I turned in my resignation but the outpouring of love and support I received from my church body was overwhelming to say the least.

So my family is my ministry. Husband first, kids second. I cannot really remember how I came to find the study but when I did I knew I wanted to do it, that I needed to do it. I ask that you, our faithful blog-readers, and you, the ladies participating in the study, join me in prayer as I seek to remain faithful to my commitment to complete this study. My deepest hope, sincerest desire and most lofty prayer is that I can become more and more like the One who saved me from my desperate life of sin and bring glory to Him in all that I do. Dirty laundry, poopy diapers and all.

And if you feel so led, won't you consider joining me on this study? If you do, leave me a comment so I can encourage you and be in prayer for you.

7 comments:

JesusRulzMe said...

Hello dear sister Lisa!

WOW! What a praise to God, and honor to Him for all that He has done in your life!

I remember how you found this study, you found my it on my personal blog before God directed me to move it to it's "own" space. You left me a comment on how you taught a Bible Study last year on Captivating by John and Stasi Elderedge. And how it related to what God's Holy Spirit inspired me to write on why a woman was made from a man's rib.

I have an awful memory about most things, but not about these things. :-)

Thank you for your transparency, I'm enjoying getting to know you better. And I am most grateful for your devotion and love for Christ our Lord first, and to your husband and children BEFORE anyone or anything else! :-)

You bless my heart and I am so grateful for you sister!

With great love in Christ Jesus,
Sunny

jcdisciple said...

I hope this doesn't sound to wierd, but my soul is in love with yours already!!!!

" Is this not the coolest? This is Bible Study the 21st century way (but the message is the same), connected with women around the globe. I mean, is that just not so neat? Who gets opportunities like that on a daily basis, to join hearts and prayers with sisters on the other side of the world, and right next door? Very powerful stuff, but I digress. (Shocking I know)."

I'm totally in AWE of what God is doing with this blogging thing!!

" I LOVE women's ministries. My background is in biblical counseling and I love speaking to, encouraging and teaching women. It is one of my greatest passions."

Diddo

"I started to realize that my family was getting my leftovers. Don't get me wrong, I loved my ministry and my church. But after much prayer and seeking the guidance of my husband I realized I had to step down. This was such a hard decision to make, but I have recently come to realize that my primary biblical responsibility and ministry is to my family. Even more important is maybe the realization that that is okay."

Diddo AGAIN!!!!!

"So my family is my ministry. Husband first, kids second."

Diddo one more time!!


Before I found blogging and specifically, Sunny, I would cry in my shower to the Lord about feeling so lonely and that I must be the only wacko woman in the world who felt the way I did. Well, guess what sister...you are an answer to my prayers...you are another one of us "wacko" sisters!! LOL!! (I prefer the term kindred spirits...but my husband says, "freak" or "wacko"). It truly is a complement from the bottom of my heart...I just love finding out that God not only created me unique, but He liked this personality so much that he tweaked it a bit and gave it to lots of other women...and I am getting meet some of them right here!! (Oh...I also digress, ramble, talk a lot, gush with excitement, encourage, and prayer...so sorry for the long comment but something tells me you will understand).

Anyway, consider yourself saturated in prayer as of this moment by your new sister, Amanda.

Looking forward to hearing more of what God has in store for you and your beautiful family.

Amanda Bowers @ onesacrifice.blogspot.com

bethb said...

I understand the word submissive, I had to learn the hard way . A harsh lesson in humility taught me what the true submissive wife is. Thank you for being bold enough to stand and teach other women the true meaning of the word. It is not the meaning that the world has put on it, nor is it giving up one's own person or personality. It is the true meaning of love and commintment to one's spouse and then the children in the relationship. Hang in there my sister, I am here supporting you and loving you every step of the day. I lift you and your family up daily to our Father. I love you.

The Epsteens said...

Sunny-I do remember leaving that comment on the original blog. I just can't remember how I got THERE in the first place.

First and foremost, it was obviously a God thing. I think you had maybe commented on another blog I was reading (Joyfully Living for His Glory maybe?) and the title of your blog intrigued me.

I do remember that at the time I was mentoring/counseling some friends of mine who were going through a particularly rough patch in their marriage and when I stumbled across the study realized something like this could turn that all around. And I realized I needed it too.

I was just so incredibly amazed at how you spoke about your husband and the story you told about the guys who were joking around with you about how lucky he got when he married you. I have a strict rule to not ever speak ill of my husband in the presence of others, but I had never thought of poking fun like that as a way of dishonoring him. You had me in tears with that one-then I was hooked. So here I am.

By the way, thank you. And for the record-I do NOT think you are a slave-driver!

The Epsteens said...

Beth-I always love reading your comments-your marriage is truly and awe-inspiring testimony to the power of true, real sacrificial love-on your part and Steve's. Love you!

Amanda-thanks so much for your sweet comment. I was interested to learn that you are a pharmacist and what your area of expertise is. I may be calling on you in that area before too long. I had insulin dependent gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy and it was really tough. But I got through it with God's help and the little ankle-biter at my knees right now is a living testimony to God's faithfulness.

JesusRulzMe said...

Hey beautiful sister of mine!

HA! HA! HA! I'm so cracking up right now! First, yes, it was truly the Lord that brought us together! No doubt!

Second, you don't think I'm a slave-driver? Bummer, well, I better start cracking the whip! HA! Just kidding. Anyone who knows me knows I've grown too old and too tired to drive myself anywhere let alone anyone else. HA!

Love you sweet sister!
Sunny

Daniel's Mom said...

:) The society we live in pushes and promotes the "I don't have to take anything from anyone." Thankfully, God rescued me from almost buying fully into that idea while I was at college learning more about His Word. At times I still think that,but God rebukes me. It's wonderful to hear about you! I was doing the study,but had to back out in this season of my life. I still would like to read some of the blogs of the ladies doing it though!