I realize one of the things that has badgered me and lead me into unwise thinking is unwise teachings. When I was a younger mother and wife, I read books by authors who challenged me as a wife and mother, not made excuses for me. And I really did well with that. It kept me moving forward, even imperfectly.
A Wise Woman Chooses Her "Experts" Carefully
Today, authoring and publishing books are done by just about anybody, whether they are an expert on the topic or not. The information doesn't need to be accurate, it just needs to sell. A published book (or blog post) is not a final authority on a subject. It is much more difficult to navigate the waters of false teachings, even from well meaning people.
We need to always line up teachings with Scripture. Always.
I find much of the teachings for women to be emotionally based. Don't get me wrong, I get that as women, we're emotional. But I think it can be dangerous to tap into that in order to guide us through life, our spiritual walk, and our roles as women. Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst, encompasses much of my own thinking. The entire book talks about keeping our emotions under control.
Having said all that, I aim to start afresh and read wise words, beginning first with the Bible. This is the ultimate authority on life and has direction for my every role as a woman and a child of God. There are countless ways to be wise, and rather than focusing on all the excuses people make for me, directly or indirectly, I choose to take responsibility for my own actions.
Reading the wise words of women who have been there is not bad! We just need to discern. I'd say the best way to do that is to evaluate whether what you're reading is helping you move closer to God and serve better, or driving you away by offering you a comfortable, complacent life because "you'll never measure up anyways."
No. We won't ever measure up. But that's not the encouragement women need! Women need to know God wants us to keep pressing on because He walks with us.
We need to know that we can do all things through Christ, because He strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)
A Wise Woman Walks in Victory
I want to be an excellent wife and mother, and maybe this will look different for you. It's not necessarily about a task list, though getting things accomplished is important. It begins with love.
Why do I want to aim for excellency rather than make excuses for why I'm not good enough?
Because I love those who share life with me and they don't need a wife or mother with a pity party.
I find that when I stand secure in Christ rather than focus on all my failures, He accomplishes much more through me. There is such a difference between a mindset of defeat, and a mindset of victory. Christ wants us to walk in victory so He can use us for great things.
I am the kind of person who likes to be challenged. The thing is, it's not about performing well; it's about serving well. It's can't be about me that I want to strive for excellence, it must be for those I love.
Because after seeing the end results in living the complacent , defeated life compared with striving for a life of intentional excellence, I am compelled to action. I don't want to be foolish. I don't want to live defeated.
I don't want to teach my children how to whittle away their time rather than spend it wisely.
I don't want to shame myself by leaving my children to themselves.
I don't want to be a naive wife who believes her marriage doesn't need intentional attention.
I also don't want to be a self-dependent woman who thinks that everything lies within what she can do. Which means my walk with Christ must be purposeful as well. I must remember that I am nothing without Christ and can do nothing without Him. Everything good comes from Him. I am totally reliant on Him for any good that comes through me.
I'd say a wise woman has a strong prayer life. That's what I want.
A Wise Woman Recognizes Her Need for Jesus.
This is first and foremost vitally important, because I simply can do nothing on my own. I cannot save myself through good behavior or good deeds. In fact, I can't even do the "good deeds" without Christ. I have been down that road more times then I care to count. You know, trying to be all that I can be, through me. Not gonna happen. Ever.
Before I set off to walk in the ways of a wise woman, I need to know where my source of strength lies and what my purpose is. Is my purpose to glorify God or glorify myself?
What I find myself running into when I strive, is that I often forget at some point I will fail. I will fail to live up to my own standards, or even God's standards, as laid out in Scripture. I don't want to live as a wise woman to have some kind of recognition or feel better about myself. I want to live as a wise woman because God wants His best for me and because there is a wonderful sense of fulfillment when I find myself in God's will.
My failures point me to Jesus and they help me remember my need for Him. If my failures do nothing else good, I pray they keep me running to Jesus. Yet I want more than simply a "fail and run" relationship with Christ.
I want to recognize that my striving shouldn't begin with works, but with Christ. I need to strive for Him first; the works will take care of themselves. They will happen a bit more naturally rather than feeling like I'm fighting an uphill battle. It seems so simple doesn't it? Yet, I forget that my life is not built upon what I can do, but what Christ has already done.
This should empower me to act. A life filled with works, yet empty of Christ, is empty. But a life filled with Christ naturally overflows in His good work because love takes the lead, not self.
A wise woman recognizes that only Christ can transform her heart. It is not something she can do through willpower or habit alone. He can choose to change a heart immediately or through long-suffering. I simply need to seek Him, fully and wholly.
If I live my life chasing after doing everything right and fail to cultivate a relationship with Christ, I've wasted it.
For His Glory,