Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Excellent Wife, Ch 7

The Wife's Heart

This chapter dealt with idols of the heart. An idol in our heart is "when something is so important to us that we sin to get it or we sin when it doesn't go well". That 'thing' can even be a good thing but "as idolatrous sin abounds, painful emotions increase, and the pressure builds. It is like a steam engine with no safety or relief valve. If you do not repent and turn to God for a refuge (comfort and relief on His terms), you will be forced to seek relief, comfort and escape somewhere else."

A heart that longs after God is a gift of grace from Him. God wants to give me a deep passionate heart for Him, if I ask. The list from the book is excellent, I need to post it somewhere (no pun intended) so I remember to "set my mind on the things above" not on what Shaun is or isn't doing for me or how he makes me feel.

  1. Think about and deliberately delight in the Lord-His works
  2. Build contentment in your life. Frequently thank Him for your circumstances. Think about today and the future in a positive way, look forward to what God is going to do in your life and how He is going to be glorified through you.
  3. Pray and ask God to give you new motives. If you delight in Him, He will give you new desires and motives in your heart...He will replace your idolatrous desires with the desires He wants you to have.
  4. Invest more of your spare time in Scripture, meditate on Scripture, memorize Scripture, and think about Scripture.
  5. Make your goal to please the Lord, not personal happiness.
  6. Be alert to sinful anger (you'll feel frustrated) and / or anxiety as an indicator that your motive is likely not righteous. As soon as you are aware that you are sinning, confess it to God. Take the time and effort to think a God-honoring thought in place of the idolatrous thought.

What is my heart set on? Is it on Shaun's actions and how he treats me? It is on what he could do to change so I would be happy? Is it on my expectations of how things should go?

These are idolatrous desires that are sinful and will frustrate me. As wonderful as Shaun is and as good as he is to me, my happiness and the deep desires of my heart cannot be dependant on him. My heart should be set on right desires:

  1. That I may know God's Word and obey it.
  2. That I may delight in Him.
  3. That I may seek Him with all my heart.
  4. That I may be pleasing to Him regardless of my circumstances.
  5. That I may cultivate an attitude of joy and gratitude in what God is doing in my life no matter what my husband does or does not do.
  6. That I may have joy in God deciding how my life and circumstances can glorify Him the most, that He can use me for His glory

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