Sunday, March 25, 2012

To Christian Mothers of Daughters

Christian Mothers of Daughters,

     As I look ahead to our Baby Brooklyn’s future, I see that girls are being fought by the world’s ideals, day in and day out, even in church circles.  They are being told the wrong things by the wrong people.  Why are sinful advertisements, commercials, and websites, grabbing the attention of our children?  Why aren’t more Christian mamas sitting down with their teenage daughters, showing them what God says in His Word about becoming godly women?  This thought has been on my heart, these last two weeks, as I have sat down and looked through the Bible for things I want to pass on to my daughter before God one day takes me Home.
     Perhaps, you, too, have a precious baby girl.  Perhaps, you have a little girl who’s turning into a young lady before your very eyes.  How and where do you begin, as you try to share with her THE LORD’S perspective on difficult issues like modesty, marriage, and “making love”? It seemed too sensitive a topic to post directly on my blog, where a young lady might read something without the approval of her parents, so I am asking you, individually, if this particular Bible study would be a blessing to you?  My prayer is that the short list of questions, answers, and Bible verses, will help you, as you enter upon that very important “facts of life” conversation, in the future.  Please send me your email address, along with a little note letting me know, if you would like a copy forwarded to you! I also have three past “Dinner’s In The Oven” devotionals –“Broken Hearts”, “Waiting For Real Love”, and “A Woman’s Wardrobe” -  that I can pass along, if you would like to save them for your daughter’s young adult years.  May God’s Word reach into the heart and soul of your daughter, and shine a pure and holy light!

Love in Christ,
Kristen Kelley

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Woman's Wardrobe - Dinner #52

     Women’s clothing is quite an issue for debate in some circles.  They fight over what women should wear, what they should NOT wear, and what TYPE of apparel is more appropriate for certain kinds of activities than others.  You will not find topics such as dresses vs. pants, or shorts vs. culottes, mentioned in the Bible.  What you WILL find are principles of MODESTY and FEMININITY!  Are you DRESSING LIKE A WOMAN? Are you seeking to be MODEST? Do you have a heart that truly desires to PLEASE THE LORD?  THOSE are the things that Scripture tells us we should be the most concerned about, when it comes to our wardrobe!
     The Bible commands us in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”  Back in Bible times, there was very little distinction between a woman’s outer garment and a man’s, but there WAS a distinction.  A woman knew when she was purchasing women’s clothing, and a man knew when he was purchasing clothing made for a man!  What men and women wear in one country, they may not wear in another country.  What men and women wear today, they may not be wearing 200 years down the road.  But, around the world, and in ALL eras of history, the first question should be, do godly women LOOK LIKE women, or are they dressed too much like men?
     I Timothy 2:9 declares, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel . . .”  With every piece of clothing a woman owns, she needs to ask herself some important questions, before walking out the door.  What does this outfit look like when I bend over or sit down? Can people see the distinct outline of my undergarments?  Is my whole figure entirely too obvious?  If it looks like something from the lingerie section of a department store, then it’s meant for your HUSBAND'S eyes, and no one else's!  Men are made to love what they SEE – they are VISION DRIVEN!  The problem is, when a man sees too much of ANY woman’s flesh, he has to fight the desire to WANT it! Matthew 5:28 tells us, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery with her already in his heart.”  Do you want to play a part in causing a brother in Christ to have an ADULTEROUS thought-life?!  I certainly hope not! Romans 14:13 instructs, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”  We, as Christian ladies, don’t need to be JUDGING each other based upon the TYPE of clothes we wear!  We need to be HELPING men to flee temptation by dressing MODESTLY!       
     The disciple Peter wrote about Christian women in one of his epistles, saying, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart . . .” (I Peter 3:3-4)  Does this mean that we should be drab and unattractive? No! Even the “Proverbs 31 Woman” had clothing of “silk and purple” (Proverbs 31:22)! What he is telling us is that we should not allow our clothing and how we look to become our main concern!  God is interested in the condition of our HEARTS! Are we spending countless dollars on fashion and make-up? Do we want men to be drawn to us, sexually, when they see us walking by?  Those things reflect the condition of our hearts! Job 29:14 says, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.”  If you are exercising righteousness and godly judgment when choosing your apparel, then you will be making the right choices!  You will have a wardrobe that pleases God! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Biblical Memories - Dinner #51

     My husband is my precious soul-mate, and I savor each special memory with him, like a woman savors a piece of melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate!  This month, I picked up something so contagious that I couldn’t even kiss him, for nearly a week . . . The illness was pretty miserable stuff, but what was so SWEET to me, was seeing how much our love grew for each other, even without those physical expressions of love.  Brandon took care of me . . . He woke up to feed the baby her breakfast, in the mornings . . . He wrote me a tender love letter . . . He bought me lovely flowers and remembered my favorite color roses. . . He took me to the mall for my birthday, and showed me each item I wanted to look at, one by one, because I couldn’t touch anything . . . He made me fall in love with him all over again!!
     You know, there should be absolutely nothing better than making memories with your soul-mate . . . unless it’s making memories with your Savior!  I must say, I haven’t made as many “life changing” memories with God, in recent months, as I did at one time in my life.  I think it’s somehow easier in the teenage and college years, to spend quality time with God, than when you have the busy "every-days" with a family of your own.  But, even when we become wives and mothers, our Lord says, “I still want your heart!”  God wants to make memories with each one of us! He wants to show us PERSONAL things from His Word, and speak to our hearts through its pages! 
     I remember the Lord calling me to the mission field, as I was reading my Bible, on my bed, in high school.  Luke 14:23 “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”  I remember God giving my heart a verse to make me smile through a particularly difficult semester in college.  Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.”  He used the book of Ruth to reassure my heart that He had just the right man out there for me to marry.  God gave me Psalm 34:9+10 when Brandon and I were newlyweds, wondering how we were going to live off our limited finances. “ . . . for there is no want to them that fear him . . . but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”  Those are all precious memories to me!  I can look through my Bible and see the dates written off to the side!  I can see the underlined words, and recall how my heart found sweet peace when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to its message.  Psalm 77:11,12 declares, “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.  I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”    God WANTS us to hold onto those sacred times we’ve had with Him! 
    Biblical memories are priceless.  They SHOULD be remembered and held dear!  But God’s mercies and His compassions are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)! Our Lord and Savior wants to ever be our “first love” (Revelation 2:4).  I share this with you, as I ask Him to speak to my OWN heart!  May we be able to say with the Psalmist David, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day . . . Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:97+105) How we need to spend more time with God, in His Word and in prayer!   Psalm 55:17 “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  Have you spoken with Him lately? He is right there, ready to listen! His Words are right there, ready to speak to your heart!