Women of Excellence: Messages from Spring Retreat

On April 15 and 16, Oasis Christian Community hosted a retreat focusing on biblical living–specifically biblical manhood and womanhood.  Over the course of the next week or two, the messages from the weekend will be uploaded to the church website.  Check them out, won’t you?

Oasis Audio

You’ll find links to the audio, PowerPoints, and videos on the left side of the page.  Please let me know if they are not there and I will do my best to redirect you to the new location if/when it changes.

Lovingly,

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Women Mentoring Women

I’ve always valued good, sound advice from those more experienced than me.  As a high school freshman, I attached myself to my favorite teacher, who permitted me to stick around for, like, ever.  After high school, we kept in touch and after college she supported me through a few rough patches of early adulthood.  Thank God for email!

I’m also a fan of mentoring girls younger than me.  I have younger sisters who unwillingly listen to my advice.  I have developed pretty solid relationships with former students who appreciate advice.  And now I’m working with The Hunk at the campus church, where college girls are in need of women to mentor them.

All of this kind of sounds absurd.  At least if you don’t know me.  And probably still if you do.  I mean, in this day and age, do we really need advice from others?  Aren’t we supposed to be living and learning on our own?  Aren’t we supposed to have all the answers?

No.

Actually, according to the Bible, women are supposed to mentor younger women and younger women are, therefore, to be mentored.

Titus 2.4 tells older women to train younger women.  In context, the verse instructs women concerning behavior.  One thing God tells us to do through Paul is to advise our younger lady-pals.  Once we’re two seconds old, we’re older than someone else.  There’s a 50% chance that one person is a girl.  So, we officially have a job once we’re two seconds old!

What about the other side of the coin?  What happens when we’re the oldest?  What happens when all the mentors are absent?

Your fellow mentor,

“I’d rather do it right than do it right away.”

It wasn’t that long ago.  I was single, never married, and–for the most part–very happy.  I spent time with friends whenever I wanted.  Did laundry whenever I chose–unless, ya’ know, I was running out of the essentials.  Let the dishes pile up until I had to wash at least a spoon so I could eat breakfast.  Made decisions about how I’d serve in the church without having a husband to consider.  And enjoyed the mentorship of countless veterans of womanhood.  It was a great time in these respects.

There were also plenty of times when being a single young woman sucked.  Straight up.  Sitting out slow dances at weddings made me feel lonely.  Watching friend after friend find their best friend and move into the married part of their lives made me worry that I would never ever find my forever best friend.

In the midst of all that, it seemed that countless other people didn’t know how to tactfully evaluate my relationship status.

I mean, can’t you see that there’s not a ring on my finger?

Why oh why did they have to ask if I had ever gotten married?  What was up with the look of disappointment on their faces?  God, please help me never to put someone else in those shoes, no matter how happy I am with my marriage!

But I had resolve.  I had a list of things I was looking for in a husband; I prayed over the list.  (PS: It worked!)  While I never had the most succinct words for my goal of waiting for the right man to come along, I heard them last night, as The Hunk and I were talking to his brother’s girlfriend about this very issue.

She said these words: “I’d rather do it right than do it right away.”

Nail. On. Head.

Those words describe exactly what I felt as a single woman.  I preferred getting the marriage thing right the first time to getting the marriage thing started first–right away.  It’s so true.

And I’m 1,000% positive: get it right, I did!

Women, let’s adopt this view for all of our major life decisions: marriage, sex, children, finances.

Right there in the trenches with you,

Mary’s Ministry

This is an interesting discussion on motherhood and calling for women in ministry.

I want to be His servant as a wife and, eventually, as a mother.

Woman of Excellence

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is in vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
-Proverbs 31.10-31

I’m positive I’ve read this Bible excerpt before.  I know I have.  I often tend to shy away from more commonly quoted text.  This lines up with my desire to be different from others–and maybe my hope to be a little tiny bit rebellious without really being rebellious.

However, this excerpt will be my vine–my oxygen, my source of light–for the next few months as I study for, pray over, and consider the young women whom I will speak to at our college church men’s and women’s retreat which will take place in April.

Pray for me as I take on this seriously daunting task–a definite first for me.

God, I dedicate this study time to You.  I pray You speak through me, focus me, and teach me so that I might teach others.  I pray that You would do more than I expect.  Show me how to live this excellence before You so that I might point others to You.  I pray this continually and in Your name.