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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - May 25, 2008

  • 2008 May 25
  • COMMENTS
 

Grace-Energized Wives and Mothers

Are Hindered by Selfishness

 

God has high standards. He says “nothing” can be done that is eternal, nothing enduring, nothing that pleases Him can be done energized-by-self.

 

Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. NKJV

 

He only blesses, accepts, and desires grace-energized love. Only love for husbands and children that is energized by grace is acceptable and glorifying to Him.

 

Each of us were born selfish. Babies cry for their own needs, not others. Toddlers do not wage battles for others, it is their own space, their own toys, and their own sinful desire for attention that prompts the terrible two’s.

 

Watching most teenagers is a study in the art of self-absorbtion as their life is consumed by the upkeep of their little world. And sadly, physical maturity does not end this spiritual problem.

 

Adults retain most of the selfish desires of childhood and youth, they just are able to mask them better the older they get. A basic description of most adults in America would be that they are individuals who have these priorities: the satisfaction of their own personal needs and desires, the maintenance of their own good feelings about themselves, and the preservation of their own personal rights.

 

As we turn to II Timothy 3, we find a “prophecy” of what the world will be like in the “last days”. Our present-day pleasure seeking, self-serving culture closely and ominously mirrors Paul’s warnings of the “last days”:

 

2 Timothy 3:1-7 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. NKJV

 

To the hedonistic culture of Roman Crete, and to the equally pleasure-seeking and narcissistic culture of today, God gives the same message. We are to be self-denying, others-ahead-of-ourselves-choosing believers.

 

That self-sacrificing lifestyle is never easy, always strange to the culture, and constantly glorifying to God. God made happiness, peace, and joy to grow only along the narrow pathway of grace-energized self-denial.

 

When wives and mothers heed this call for grace-energized love for their husbands and children, they begin down that narrow pathway of self-denial. Grace-energized love for husbands and children leads to the deepest happiness, joy, and fulfillment.

 

But when God’s pathway of self-denial is un-followed, His admonitions unheeded, and life gets “graceless” without the grace of God energizing a life, marriage, and family--there is only emptiness, frustration, and sorrows.

 

How is this grace-energized emotional love for your husband and children cultivated? Paul explains that in Romans 12:10.

 

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; NKJV

 

Love is encouraged when selfishness is mortified.

 

Selfishness will hinder, thwart, and stifle this grace-energized love God wants from wives and mothers.

 

But selfishness isn’t the biggest hindrance, we already saw the one that is far more deadly, and it is called bitterness. As we have studied, bitterness is a deadly cancer that grows rapidly and produces a deadly poison that paralyzes a believer’s love, robs their joy, and ends their peace. It zaps their spiritual strength and removes God’s blessing from their lives. So at all costs, avoid bitterness.

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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