“Husbands, Love Your Wives…

“Husband, Love Your Wives…”

“Husband, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it…(Ephesians 5:25)

For the past several blogs, I have been writing about and expounding upon scriptures from the book of Ephesians; Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus.  A few days ago, I wrote about “Wives Submitting unto Your Own Husbands.”  Today’s scripture deal with husbands “loving” their own wives.

Interesting; isn’t it?  Wives are instructed to “submit,” and husbands are instructed to “love.”  Here’s a thought to ponder:  I suppose you can have “submission” without love, but hardly will you ever find “love” without some sort of submission!  Mmmmm.  I mean anyone can “make” themselves “submit” to another’s authority and/or rule; people do it everyday.  But, to truly “love” someone and demonstrate that “love” usually brings forth a, “How can I please you” attitude and frame of heart.  I mean, if a person really “loves” another person he or she will want to show it in all kinds of special, caring, nurturing, and submissive ways…

“”””But, wait a minute Sister Linda!!….You are wrong!  Husbands don’t submit to their wives. The wife is supposed to submit to the husband!””””  Oh, I can hear the slamming down of the computer tops and rushing of male-gender feet to get their KJV’s to erase any “false” teachings I might be implying here!!  BUT, wait a minute before you tar-and-feather me!! I did NOT say, type, or write (whichever verb you so desire to choose) that a man “submit” himself to his wife…I simply copied what the Apostle Paul stated when HE said and wrote, “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”   I’m just saying that “unconditional” love-from-the-heart manifests itself often in “giving of ones self,” or “pleasing” the one you love….After all, Jesus GAVE himself for His church and it certainly PLEASED the church; the Bride of Christ! Amen!

I must be; no I am, one of the most fortunate and blessed wives on the face of the earth…But, I also know that I am NOT the only one.  I see it all the time….Men who love their wives enough to “allow,” “permit,” and even encourage their wives to be happy with their own choices, plans, goals, or desires…(Now, I’m NOT totally crazy….No woman alive gets “her way” 100% of the times!!!  And, whether we, as women, want to admit it or not…we really don’t expect to! —But, “sh” we don’t want “them” (our husbands!) to find this out! LOL!)

But, then again I have “witnessed” men who would not “dare” to let their “little old lady” have a say-so in anything; especially inside the church or out in public in front of their peers, buddies, pals, and comrades!  Why that would NOT be scriptural according to these strong-willed, self-determined, enlightened, smarter-than-the-average-bear, and masculine men-of-men!!!  You know the ones I’m referring…Men who shout-out or bark, “Hey, get that kid; he’s crying again!”  Men who say, “Well, if she was my wife I’d tell you what I’d do, I put her in her place in a heartbeat!”  Or, “I’m the head of my household and no woman gonna tell me what to do!”…..Just to list a few!

See, having lived in the position of being a Pastor’s wife for many years, I have witnessed and encountered “all” kinds of interpretations of “this” particular scripture…But, to be perfectly honest, when things are lined up right in the home as well as the heart the roles to “submit” and to “love” come naturally without needing a script or bumper sticker to be reminded!

“Love,” real love (I Corinthians 13 Love), Godly love, just naturally “submits” one to another!!!  Mind you, I do NOT always get my way (and, I don’t expect to)…and my husband doesn’t always demand his way!  Sometimes, we even use little reminders such as, “I picked the restaurant last time so where do you want to go tonight?”  And, sometimes the answer might simply be, “I’d like to stay home and eat a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with chips and a pickle!”  (Anyone who is from the South knows you can’t beat a BLT in the summertime with a cold glass of iced-tea!)

So, why do you think God instructed the “man” to “LOVE” the wife?  Because, to me, there is nothing more beautiful, appealing, humbling, and attractive than watching an older gentleman opening a door and honoring his lovely bride of 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 years! You can see how he cherishes her in the twinkle of his eyes.  He’s patient.  He’s kind.  He’s courteous.  He’s doting…And, believe me the man is NOT hen-pecked!!!  He is demonstrating a “godly” love towards his spouse….He’s a true gentleman who carries the “love” for his wife in his heart everywhere he goes.  You won’t find him standing around the water-cooler cracking “wife” jokes!  And, you won’t find his wife sitting around in a circle of ladies “bashing” their husbands!  They have “learned” the secret to “love” and “submission.”  Through “submitting” one to another…God’s true intentions for the church; the Bridegroom of Christ.

I believe if our society witnessed more of these idealistic scenes that they could understand the whole concept of the “church” age a little better!  A little piece of Heaven on earth!  So, to all these “I”m the man of the house and boss around here!”  You may get your wifely “submission fix,” sometimes even with a gentle smile, but what you won’t get is the authentic deeper love and respect you think you rightfully deserve!  Because, as I stated in the beginning…”You can submit without love, but you can’t love without showing signs of submission!” (in a good way!)…..

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T Rollins, Author

copyrighted by Lin T Rollins

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Teaching To Love

Teaching to Love…

“That they may TEACH the young women to exhort self-control, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be modest, pure, keepers at home (taking care of the home), good (kind), submissive to their OWN husbands, that the Word of God be not made void (or discarded).  Titus 2:4-5

 Today’s blog title does not read, “Loving to Teach…” It reads, “TEACHING TO LOVE!”  Before I retired from teaching public school, I recall spending many hours writing out and designing lesson plans geared towards “TEACHING”  my students a specific standard or objective in order to reach a specific goal.

Knowing that all students do not learn in the same way, a truly well-prepared lesson plan contains various methods and styles of teaching.  Some students are audio learners, while others are visual learners, while others are kinesthetic, and some a mixture of all three.  To effectively teach ALL students, a dedicated and gifted teacher will include all three styles and methods of  teaching and learning in order to achieve optimal results. This style of teaching is NOT the exception but the rule of good, basic teaching and learning.

Likewise, one will find the word, “teach”   throughout the Scriptures.  The simple, yet sometimes complex, term “teach” can be defined as,  “to instruct,” “to train,” “to enlighten,” “to impart knowledge or skills through instruction or example.”  Any parent knows that the best way to “teach” or “instruct” our children on how to do a specific chore is to “model” it on a daily, regular basis.  As a child, I don’t recall my mother verbally “instructing” me how to do certain tasks or chores as much as I simply recall “watching” her do them on a daily and regular basis.

“Teaching” specific objectives is so vitally important to our lives that God used the term numerous times throughout the Bible.  Take for example…The Bibles speaks of “teaching” us to Love.  No one has to teach us how to have a temper-tandrum…just take something away from a baby and you’ll quickly see what I mean!  No one has to teach us how to tell a lie….But, God instructs us to “teach” one another how to “love.”  Do you mean that Love and the ability to Love is something that can be taught, instructed, trained, and modeled?  Yes; according to the Scriptures.  The Book of Titus tells the “older” women to teach the “younger” women how to be modest and discreet, love their own husbands, love their own children, to be keepers of (take care of) their own homes, and to be submissive to their own husbands.”  

Sadly, I’m afraid so many are NOT being taught the things that God instructed us to teach: Love, Charity, Kindness, Respect, Purity… For decades now, divorce rates have been on the rise, women have become more and more overt in their mannerisms and behaviors, increaesed unwedded pregnancies, more and more children are being left to care for and raise themselves, and submission to ones own husband….Well, that concept in today’s society is considered as being an “old-fashioned” wise-tale or fable!  In one way or the other I fear that we are all “guilty” of NOT teaching, modeling, and/or instructing our younger women and men in the things of God….And, it shows.

In the Book of Titus ( a very good book for principles on daily living!), it also reads, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts (pleasures), we should live soberly (modest, pure, and sane), righteously (doing what is right in God’s eyes), and godly (according to God’s teachings), in this present world.  (2:12).

With so much alarming RealityTV bombarding our air-ways along with all the “Jerry Springer” crowds, what our children are seeing today is a far, far cry from God’s Biblical teachings.   For example…Our society has attempted to reduce “marriage” to selecting your future spouse from a group of men or women after “comparing” them on the basis of pre-marital sex and wild partying!  Sadly, shows such as The Bachelor continue to be top-raters by viewers.

I fear that until we return to the teachings of God as well as modeling HIS instructions on a regular basis, our society will continue to decline in morals and values.  Ask yourself this question, “What is your life teaching or modeling today?”  Is it teaching or modeling God’s instructions…Or, is it teaching the lost, ungodly world’s concepts?

(In closing, I’m glad that there are still individual people, families, churches, and organizations out there teaching God’s ways.  This past weekend, two of my grandsons attended a Purity Conference with the teens and youth from their church.  With so much impurities being modeled and demonstrated within our society, families, and even some churches, I’m thankful and grateful for those who continue to contribute their money, time, talents, and skills towards helping our younger men and women to know a better way; God’s way.  Amen.) 

Remember, God Loves You

Lin T. Rollins, Author

A Month of Thanksgiving Part Four

A Month of Thanksgiving

Today, I want to write about being thankful for my spouse; my husband.  Yes; I know that there are those who feel very lead of God to remain single, and they feel very fulfilled in doing so.  Nevertheless, I was the type of little girl who loved to play dress-up and many times this included dressing up as a soon-to-be wedding bride.

 As with most little girls back in the early 60’s pretending to be a bride, I used bath towels, pillow cases, my mother’s long robes, or even linen table cloths to tie over my head as a veil.  For some reason, the veil was always the most significant part of the outfit!  Then, I would ceremoniously stroll down the sidewalk while  holding a hand-full of pulled-up wild flowers from the yard to marry either  my teddy-bear, stuffed panda bear, or any other stuffed animal suitable for the occasion!  All of the other stuffed animals and dolls from my bedroom were the honored guests!

After the make-believe ceremony, I would delight myself to a cup of magical tea and freshly made mud-pies served on my finest play tea-set. (Sometimes, I would even sneak out my tiny china tea-set!)  Actually, I was an only child whose wildly strong and vivid imagination was often times my only playmate.  So, I learned to use it well!

When I was finally old enough to start dating, around the age of fifteen, I loved getting dressed-up for my dates.  I’m pretty sure you ladies know exactly what I mean.  Hair perfectly in place; eye-liner lightly applied, light-colored lip-stick, and freshly pressed clothing.  Ready to go.

To me, every boy that I dated was a potential candidate for marriage.  My mother used to actually scold me about my being so picky and choosy.  But, I heard a preacher once say, “Date only people whom you may wish to marry one day.”  Of course, my being too picky and choosy meant a lot of Friday and Saturday nights at home alone after the ball games, but it served me well in the long run. When I look back, I dated some very nice, polite, and well-respected young men until God sent me the one he had chosen to be my husband.

I had just started into my senior year in high school when I was approached by a class mate asking permission to give my home telephone number to a friend of his who wanted to date me.  Mind you, I had never met the guy nor did I know at the time that he was five years older than me.  But, my friend assured me that he was a “good guy,” and we would be going with a group to Underground Atlanta; a place I was dying to go!   So, I agreed.  That night,my future husband telephoned and asked me out for our first date.

Here’s the neat part.  Even though I had not officially met my future husband, he had seen me on several occasions at ball games where I was a cheerleader.  At one of the ball games, he told a friend that he was going to marry the “cheerleader standing on the end.”  Being one of the shorter cheerleaders, I cheered on the end; as the taller ones were in the middle of the line.   My future husband and I dated for four months before he asked me to marry him.  He gave me an engagement ring on Christmas day of my senior year in high school.

The following July, we were married….And, that’s been thirty-seven years ago.  Now, mind you, if two people have ever gotten into heated arguments…we have!  We’ve seen some wonderful times, and we have seen some very heart-breaking times.  But, we have seen them all together; as man and wife.  Like so many people sadly do, we could have walked away from one another during the more difficult times; especially when we had such difference of opinions regarding certain matters.  But, thanks be unto my Lord…we didn’t.  We have argued, went to bed upset, woke-up the next morning still arguing until the situation either resolved itself…or we both just got too tired to mess with it anymore!  At some point, usually one or the other of us would say….”Ok, I’m sorry.”  Nothing overly eventful or life-shattering when we made-up…..Just three simple words….”I am sorry.”  Sometimes shortened to just, “Sorry.”   Typically, followed by, “You know I love you.”  End of story…The End….move on!

You might ask what does a pastor and his wife argue about?!!  Believe me, when your husband is in the ministry you have a plethora of things that can ignite a disagreement or an argument!  Even the best saint- of- saints (if you know one!) can become overly burdened and short-tempered when dealing with so many different situations, varieties of people, and un-expectant circumstances. Then, like with all married couples…there’s the typical day-to-day pressures, trials, at-home and work-related duties, and the overwhelming responsibilities of rearing children!   Believe me, the pressures of life with the added pressures of the ministry can nearly kill you!  But, God’s GRACE is always sufficient! And, you quickly learn to stay-on-your-knees in prayer for both your family, church family, and your own, personal sanity!  Amen…

So, today, I am very thankful and grateful for a man who has loved me ever since he first saw me as a spirited teenager jumping up and down on the sideline or court cheering my team’s players towards victory (or defeat!).   In the Bible, God clearly states, “It is not good for the man to be alone…I will make for him a helpmeet (helper).” Genesis 1:18 NIV…

Oh yes; I am thankful to be married to a man who has been faithful to God, his children, and to me.  I am very humbled and grateful to be his “helpmeet;” helper.  He’s not perfect; by no means….But, he’s my husband and I am very proud of him and his many accomplishments in life and in the ministry….And, as a loving husband, friend, provider, father, and grandfather.

Today, my husband is a confident, conservative, and handsome sixty-year-old man…But, I can still close my eyes and see him as he was in the early 70’s with his long curly black hair, mustache, bell-bottomed plaid pants, long collared nylon shirt, and platform black-leathered dress boots!  Thank goodness the style and look of the 70’s is gone!  (Even though it’s sneaking back into our society! Ouch!).  But, the “cool-dressing” young man of the 70’s is now the matured, well-dressed, well-groomed, suited-up man of my dreams…My husband… For whom I am very thankful!

Today, you might want to make a list  of all the things you are thankful for with your own husband….time flies faster than we think…and way too often we take such blessings for granted…After I publish today’s blog…I think I’ll call my husband just to say, “Hey Hon, just calling to say I love you.”

Remember, God Loves you!

Lin T Rollins, Author

Birthdays And Anniversaries

Birthdays and Anniversaries mark special days within our lives.  Special times when we reflect upon our past and times when we look towards our future with hope and promise.

Today, October 13, 2011, and this week, is a special time in my husband’s life.  Today, he turned sixty-years-old, and this week he celebrates thirty years in the ministry.  Two very special milestones in his life.

First, I thank God that he was born sixty years ago.  From the foundation of the Earth, God ordained him to be my husband; my provider, my friend, my protector, and the father of my children.  Even though I have not always behaved as if he was my best friend, he has always been my best friend; sticking right beside me through thick and thin; and believe me, as with most married couples, there has been a whole lot of thick and a whole lot of thin!

Over the years, I have watched him turn grey, gain weight around the mid-section, and face tornadic-like storms with an unwavering Faith in God…Putting it into his own philosophy of life and words, “It all comes out in the wash!” 

My husband is what I call a “black and white” person. He doesn’t take much time to wallow in the gray like I do.  He calls it like it is and makes his choices and decisions there upon.  At times, I wish I could be more like him; and at times, I wish he could be more like me in these matters!  But, as one close friend observed, “You two balance each other out well.”

What a nice compliment…”We balance each other out.”  I guess his being on one side of the spectrum and my being on the other side has provided a foundation of moderation that actually helped to balance out our family and our lives.  So, I’m thankful and grateful for my husband’s no-non-sense, call-it-what it-is, life-style of Hope and Faith….”Throw another bean in the pot!” as he would say. (Another one of his philosophical sayings! He has dozens!

My husband is very different from any other person or man in my life. My husband is a humble man; one that does not seek his own.  He’s unselfish and not self-centered at all.  He doesn’t brag on himself, his belongings, or his achievements in life.  He’s always looking out for my best interest and putting me first in most areas of his life.  (The one area I do not compete to be first is his relationship with God…God is and always will be number One in his life. And, I am blessed because of it.)

Like most young wives, it took time for me to actually see, realize, and appreciate these qualities.  But, when I did I realized how truly blessed I am. 

I look forward to celebrating more birthdays and anniversaries with my husband and family. With each passing year life grows fonder and the memories grow ever sweeter.  None of us is perfect and like the songs says, “God’s still working on me…to make me what He wants me to be.”

I wish my husband a Happy 60th Birthday and Happy 30th Anniversary in the ministry.  “You have been my friend, my provider, my protector, the father of our children, and even more special…my Pastor. How sweet is that…I will love you always.”

Thank you for stopping by and sharing with me this special day in my husband’s life.  Perhaps you can join me in giving thanks to God for those who are special in your life as well. 

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine…That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…” (Titus 2:4 KJV).

Remember God Loves You!

Lin T Rollins, Author

The Old Recliner

The Old Recliner…Twenty years ago, when my husband turned forty-years-old, I bought him a brand new leather recliner.  Next month, The Old Recliner will be twenty-years-old and my husband will be sixty.  Together, they have seen a lot of changes over the past twenty years.  Three daughters graduating high school, three daughters getting married, and nine grandchildren joyously birthed into the family.

Even though the leather is starting to get very ragged and worn, how can I ever throw out Papa’s recliner? It has become a part of our family.  After all, our first grandson slept peacefully for three hours while Papa held him in his arms afraid to move so as to not awaken him. (Papa’s are like that; yes they are.)  Then, the other babies came, one by one, all precious little bundles being held by Papa in Papa’s recliner.

Over the years, I have watched “Papa” go from being dark headed to grey all while resting each night in that old recliner.  A many good ballgames and movies have been watched from that old chair!

It’s also in nearly every Christmas picture for the past twenty years.  It’s a prize possession… that old recliner.  Even though it doesn’t exactly go with the rest of the living room pieces, it sits proudly knowing it has been here longer than any other piece in the living room.  It takes top prize…that old recliner.

Isn’t it funny how things, like an old recliner, become more sentimental to us as we grow older? A simple fruit bowl given to us as a wedding gift; a crystal vase; a set of dishes that we once didn’t even like suddenly becomes meaningful just because they are older and managed to somehow never be thrown out over the years!

I believe that we hold on to these things because they remind us of our life; much like a patch-work quilt.  Each piece telling a story.   And, as life passes us by, holding on to them becomes more and more precious.

I have a few items that once belonged to my grandmother on my father’s side. She died when I was only two years old.  So, I never really got to know her.  But, for me, having those pieces have made her to feel more a part of my life.

I have, what people call, a “Pie Safe.”  It’s over seventy-five years old.  My dad says that my grandparents started out housekeeping with it back in Cherokee County Alabama in the early 1930’s.  Oh, how I wish I had never redone it many years ago.  I painted it a pretty cream color and added new hinges and knobs.  Today, I think I would love having all of the original paint, pealing decals, and scratched hinges.  Yet, it is lovely in my kitchen holding my mother-in-law’s Blue Willow China from Churchill England.  The two seem to make the perfect match; the cabinet and the dishes.

I also have my grandmother’s cedar chest filled with old family pictures and keep sakes from my daughters when they were little girls and in school.  Memories; all precious memories.

It’s funny how a simple aging recliner can suddenly take us back to a place long forgotten and rekindle the memories tucked away inside of our hearts.  Truthfully, I hope that old recliner holds out another twenty years and holds even more fonder memories as our grandchildren head towards adulthood and one day have children of their own.

I also hope that when my grandchildren marry they will want some of Meemaw’s and Papa’s belongings.  After all, handing our precious items down to our grandchildren helps us to know that we will live in their hearts and lives after we, too, have passed from this life.  A piano; guitar; gold bracelet; string of pearls; dining room table; antique table; cherry-wood bedroom set, and my grandmother’s pieces.  All hoping to be handed down to another generation of life with as much hope that they will add flavor and enjoyment to their lives as they did mine.

But, right now…I’m just sitting here enjoying “The Old Recliner,” and all that it means.  For one day, I, like the recliner, will be “old,” aging, and worn out.  Yet, I know that my children and grandchildren will still cherish me and the memories they hold in their hearts of our time here together on Earth….For though the recliner is man-made and will one day eventually be replaced…Love and all that it represents will never fade…and can never be replaced.

So, today, you might have your own “old recliner” sitting in your home that you wouldn’t take a hundred dollars for…..But, please don’t make that offer to my husband, because he’d probably take you up on it and even help load it up for you!

Oh, the joys of being sentimental…A recliner by any other name is…simply a recliner.  But, that old recliner… Papa’s Recliner…now there’s a treasure…

Remember, God Loves You (and, He just might love my old recliner, too!)

Lin T. Rollins, Author