Thursday, January 21, 2010

honor him, honor Him

I was recently asked a couple of important questions by a young man who is engaged to be married in a matter of months. It's amazing what others' questions can accomplish in your own heart and mind. This goes to show that we should all continually be asking questions, not simply for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the one we are asking. Questions have a tendency to stick with us (or with me anyway) and meander around in our heads until they are throughly, honestly, and properly answered. (As a side note, in ministry it is also crucial to ask questions, and there is a good book on the topic called "Questioning Evangelism" by Randy Newman).

The two questions were: "Has your relationship with your husband changed since you had a baby?" and "Does your husband's ministry come first over any career goals you may have?" The answer to both of these was an emphatic "yes," and we touched on both of them in more detail. It turns out that this young man's fiance had been reading "Created to be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl, which I have written about on prior occasions, so I passed on my blog information for her to be able to read it. If you are a mother and wife, then you know it would be a very long list if I were to mention all the ways a relationship changes when a little person is introduced into it. So perhaps that will be for a later entry... for now, let it suffice to say, "Baby changes everything." Here, I would like to focus on the second question.

More than ever, this is the perfect time for me to write about my husband's ministry, having just moved across the country from Florida to New York in order for him to pursue his master's degree. Just four or five short months ago, I had no real intentions of actually moving to New York, although it was on our radar screen for some time. According to His divine plan and sense of humor, however, G-d had something different in mind, so He brought us here quickly and earlier than expected. As I sit here, a Floridian in the midst of a Brooklyn winter, I have to smile to myself... Did I really want to move here? Not really. But when my husband gets his Master's Degree, will it be worth it? Absolutely! Now that I am here, settling into this New York lifestyle, I realize it's really not that bad and G-d has given me peace about most of the small (and probably unreasonable) concerns and worries that I was replaying over and over in my mind. Although it is very different than what I am used to and out of my "comfort zone," there are just more important things in life than being comfortable (or warm)! As a married woman, honoring my husband is on that list of more important things.

There is much more to be said about this subject, but I found a couple simple lists of ways to honor our husbands. There is an article (blog devotion) that you can read as well. Find it here:

This list comes from the article:

Tell your husband that you believe in him!• Don't point out his mistakes, just fill in the gap.• Ask God to show you ways to serve your husband.• Don't ever say "I told you so." • Say "I'm sorry" and mean it when you dishonor him.• Say "I forgive you" and mean it when he dishonors or hurts you.• Tell your husband that you thank God for giving him to you (and be sure you do).• Let him overhear you telling someone something you appreciate about him.• Support and encourage his decisions.• Praise him when his decisions turn out well and encourage him when they don't.• Tell you husband each day about one thing you are thankful for - about his character, his work ethic, his provision, his humor or something he adds to your family.* Several of these ideas are from
What A Husband Needs from His Wife © 2006 by Melanie Chitwood.

And here's another list from another devotion: Taking time to at least brush your hair and put some gloss on your lips before your husband comes home at the end of the day.• Committing to regular exercise and taking care of yourself in order to feel better and look better.• Treating him respectfully and watching both your words and tone to him.• Apologizing when you blow it and humbly seeking his forgiveness.• Investing regular, consistent time into "us" by making the effort to plan date nights and secure a sitter.• Really listening to him when he confides in you, not letting your thoughts wander to a "to-do" list.• Spending time with him without feeling like either of us has to talk all the time.• Respecting the differences in each of us, instead of fighting against them.

These are some simple (but not always easy) ways to begin showing respect to our husbands. I feel that as we become habitually honoring to him (and Him), it becomes easier as the years pass. In March, my husband and I will be celebrating our third anniversary. May my respect for him grow stronger with every year that we spend together. And in honoring him, may I honor Him who brought us together in the first place.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Although I would love to take credit for coming up with the word, homeshuling, I cannot. I borrowed it from a Jewish mother's parenting blog, which you can find at In the event that you have no idea what the word shul means, it is another word for synagogue. I think that her use of the word homeshuling rather than homeschooling is brilliant!

As my daughter matures further and further beyond the one year mark, it becomes more of a reality to me how important it is to be her first and probably most influential teacher. As her mother and primary caretaker, it is my responsibility to redeem the hours that I spend with her on a daily basis. For the most part, it will be me who teaches her the alphabet, shapes, colors, numbers, and how to read and write, etc. And because she is with me most often, it will also be me who shapes and builds the foundation of her faith in G-d, Yeshua the Messiah, and her love and obedience to Torah. This is a daunting task indeed, but one which I can honestly say that I am very excited about.

It has always been my dream and desire to homeschool my children, and if the L-rd makes that possible for me to do, it will be great. However, even if they do attend school outside the home, my responsibility as their first teacher still remains the same. As soon as Elisheva can hold a crayon to color, I will be "playing school" with her because learning should be fun and engaging. When I was much younger, I had an opportunity to "play school" and teach a 3-year old girl, and she loved it! She thrived on the structure and the activities. I taught her colors, shapes, how to write her name... we sang songs, did crafts, and colored for hours. This love for teaching young children also led me to become a substitute preschool teacher, probably the most fun and fulfilling (and exhausting) job I have ever had! Now, with a child of my own, the excitement level is even higher, but the stakes are also higher. The other children I have taught (hopefully) went home to learn from their parents as well. Elisheva will already be home. Still, I await with great anticipation the discovery of all that she will learn from her father and I. I'm also confident that it will be enjoyable for all of us, as she seems to have a natural curiosity to know everything and a love for books already. I just pray that my husband and I will continue to take this great responsibility seriously and not for granted.

The Torah commands us to teach the instructions of G-d diligently to our children (Deuteronomy 6:7). Yes, we are required to teach them so many other things as well, even if they have other teachers outside the home, but we cannot neglect to teach them, at every opportunity, the word of G-d and how to apply it to their lives. And to teach it, we must live it in our own lives because children, like most people of all ages, believe what they see, not what we tell them to be true. Unfortunately, the phrase "do as I say, not as I do" has no place in Biblical parenting, although we've probably all heard it (or said it) once or twice in our lives. All teachers may not be parents, but all parents are teachers. As the rabbinical saying goes, "He who knows alef and bet is required to teach he who knows only alef."

With every passing day, I see my daughter learning more and more. With every passing day, I teach my daughter more and more. Her "homeshuling" has already begun, and I pray that my husband and I will able to teach her all that she needs to succeed and grow in this world, and all that she will need to know G-d, please Him, and inherit blessings in the world to come.