Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Excellent Wife (part 1)


(Discussion of Chapter 1; headings 1-3)

In the first three sections of her book, Martha Peace gives us her testimony and explains how she came to know Christ. Contemplating her story, I am struck by the mercy of God and the manner in which He saves souls, even belligerent ones! Not one testimony is identical. None of His children are convicted and converted using the same methods, for there are no cookie cutters in the Heavenly Kingdom. This should be such an encouragement to those of us who are witnessing to controversial family and friends. With God, all things are possible!

Martha was a full-blown feminist and did not even hesitate to throw the Bible at a friend who read to her about being a submissive wife. She was hostile to her Christian friends and sought satisfaction in drinking, partying, and various forms of entertainment. But fearing what a trip to a psychiatrist would do to her career, she finally agreed to read the Book of John and visit the church her friends attended. One night, as she was reading, the Holy Spirit opened her eyes to see her selfishness and, as she confessed her sins, He was faithful to forgive.

Being raised in a Christian home, my testimony is much different, but there are a few similarities: I knew and believed everything the Bible taught about submission, but my heart inwardly rebelled against it. I wanted to be independent and conniving but submissive too!  Another similarity is the venom that I released upon my sister when I was under conviction of sin. And the way the Spirit hit me between the eyes with His Word, revealing my false motivations for seeking Him.

Lately there seems to be an epidemic of people who try to use God as a cosmic vending machine, putting in their quarters and getting angry when He doesn't vend exactly what they request. Many walk away and never look back, confident that He doesn't exist. Some beat the doors of Heaven and eventually lapse into despair. Others continue to pour in their quarters, their tithes and good works, foolishly believing that it will earn them entrance into eternal bliss.

Martha and I were both in the second group. We beat the doors of Heaven and would have lapsed into permanent despair if His Spirit had not convicted us of our false motives and then shined the Light of the Gospel on our cold, dead hearts.

Every conversion story should end with a changed life, for that is the very essence of conversion. And, although Martha admits that she still fails miserably at times, her heart has changed drastically and she now desires to be the excellent wife described in the Scriptures.

I also desire to be that excellent wife. To honor my husband and my Lord with my submission. To die to self and live for Christ. To be a testimony of God's grace and redemption by the way I think, speak, and act.

If you have the same desires; whether you are single, married, divorced, or widowed, I invite you to join me on a trek through this excellent book.

"Who can find a virtuous woman? 
For her price is far above rubies." (Prov 31:10)

Next time: 

Finish Chapter One (headings 4-10)

Previous post:  The Excellent Wife

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Am I the only wife who is very nervous about reading this book by Martha Peace? Having heard so much about it, I have often claimed that I would obtain a copy "someday," but someday for me is almost as futile as grasping a rolling ball that is just beyond finger reach.

Then, a few weeks ago, while scrounging for costumes at a local thrift store, I came upon a bookshelf with a sign that read, "All Religious Books Free." With a bit of a snicker, I checked out the shelf, assuming the religious books it contained were probably not worth their ink and paper.

Lo and behold, I was greeted by a familiar title. As I seized upon the book by Martha Peace, it was with suprise, gladness, and a twinge of fear. While I feel my shortcomings so keenly, I do desire to be an excellent wife to my Beloved.

Today I started my journey into her book and plan to blog about the things I'm learning so as to digest them better. If you have a copy and would like to join me, I'll be discussing the first three headings of Chapter One tomorrow.

Even if you don't have a copy, please feel free to join the discussion. I would love to hear all of your thoughts on this book as we contemplate it together.
"Martha Peace, a Biblical counselor of women, has written an Excellent Volume. Not only does it explain what God requires of a Christian wife, but it explains clearly how to obey God's commandments in order to become that wife. Get it, read it, and profit from it."  ~Jay E. Adams