While listening to one of my favorite Bible teachers, Dr. Voddie Baucham, I came across the Westminster Catechism. It is a series of questions and answers to teach children/teens theology. This is the catechism he uses with his children and decided to start with our 3 oldest. My two toddlers (2.5 and 3.5 years old) know the first 15 question, memorized in 2 days. 🙂 We are using the regular Catechism for my oldest (10) so his answers are a bit longer. There is no such thing as too young to start learning theology and if you are inetersted in starting with your little ones I have posted all the questions and answers below. I suggest starting with 2-3 questions at a time and evaluate how long it takes them to learn them. Every child learns differently. I also created a big poster with the first 50 to work on them every day and hung it on our living room wall. They get stickers when they answer the question without help. 🙂 Make it fun for them
Q. 1. Who made you? A. God.
Q. 2. What else did God make? A. God made all things.
Q. 3. Why did God make you and all things ? A. For his own glory.
Q. 4. How can you glorify God? A. By loving him and doing what he commands.
Q. 5. Why ought you to glorify God? A. Because he made me and takes care of me.
Q. 6. Are there more gods than one? A. There is only one God.
Q. 7. In how many persons does this one God exist? A. In three persons.
Q. 8. What are they? A. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Q. 9. What is God? A. God is a Spirit, and has not a body like men.
Q. 10. Where is God? A. God is everywhere.
Q. 11. Can you see God? A. No; I cannot see God, but he always sees me.
Q. 12. Does God know all things? A. Yes; nothing can be hid from God.
Q. 13. Can God do all things? A. Yes; God can do all his holy will.
Q. 14. Where do you learn how to love and obey God? A. In the Bible alone.
Q. 15. Who wrote the Bible? A. Holy men who were taught by the Holy Spirit.
Q. 16. Who were our first parents? A. Adam and Eve.
Q. 17. Of what were our first parents made? A. God made the body of Adam out of the ground, and formed Eve from the body of Adam.
Q. 18. What did God give Adam and Eve besides bodies? A. He gave them souls that could never die.
Q. 19. Have you a soul as well as a body? A. Yes; I have a soul that can never die.
Q. 20. How do you know that you have a soul? A. Because the Bible tells me so.
Q. 21. In what condition did God make Adam and Eve? A. He made them holy and happy.
Q. 22. What is a covenant? A. An agreement between two or more persons.
Q. 23. What covenant did God make with Adam? A. The covenant of works.
Q. 24. What was Adam bound to do by the covenant of works? A. To obey God perfectly.
Q. 25. What did God promise in the covenant of works? A. To reward Adam with life if he obeyed him.
Q. 26. What did God threaten in the covenant of works? A. To punish Adam with death if he disobeyed.
Q. 27. Did Adam keep the covenant of works? A. No; he sinned against God.
Q. 28. What is Sin? A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.
Q. 29. What is meant by want of conformity? A. Not being or doing what God requires.
Q. 30. What is meant by transgression? A. Doing what God forbids.
Q. 31. What was the sin of our first parents? A. Eating the forbidden fruit.
Q. 32. Who tempted them to this sin? A. The devil tempted Eve, and she gave the fruit to Adam.
Q. 33. What befell our first parents when they had sinned? A. Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable.
Q. 34. Did Adam act for himself alone in the covenant of works? A. No; he represented all his posterity.
Q. 35. What effect had the sin of Adam on all mankind? A. All mankind are born in a state of sin and misery.
Q. 36. What is that sinful nature which we inherit from Adam called? A. Original sin.
Q. 37. What does every sin deserve? A. The wrath and curse of God.
Q. 38. Can any one go to heaven with this sinful nature? A. No; our hearts must be changed before we can be fit for heaven.
Q. 39. What is a change of heart called? A. Regeneration.
Q. 40. Who can change a sinner’s heart? A. The Holy Spirit alone.
Q. 41. Can any one be saved through the covenant of works? A. None can be saved through the covenant of works.
Q. 42. Why can none be saved through the covenant of works? A. Because all have broken it, and are condemned by it
Q. 43. With whom did God the Father make the covenant of grace? A. With Christ, his eternal Son.
Q. 44. Whom did Christ represent in the covenant of grace? A. His elect people.
Q. 45. What did Christ undertake in the covenant of grace? A. To keep the whole law for his people, and to suffer the punishment due to their sins.
Q. 46. Did our Lord Jesus Christ ever commit the least sin? A. No; he was holy, harmless, and undefiled.
Q. 47. How could the Son of God suffer? A. Christ, the Son of God, became man that he might obey and suffer in our nature.
Q. 48. What is meant by the Atonement? A. Christ’s satisfying divine justice, by his sufferings and death, in the place of sinners.
Q. 49. What did God the Father undertake in the covenant of grace? A. To justify and sanctify those for whom Christ should die.
Q. 50. What is justification? A. It is God’s forgiving sinners, and treating them as if they had never sinned.
Q. 51. What is sanctification? A. It is God’s making sinners holy in heart and conduct.
Q. 52. For whom did Christ obey and suffer? A. For those whom the Father had given him.
Q. 53. What kind of life did Christ live on earth? A. A life of poverty and suffering.
Q. 54. What kind of death did Christ die? A. The painful and shameful death of the cross.
Q. 55. Who will be saved? A. Only those who repent of sin, believe in Christ, and lead holy lives.
Q. 56. What is it to repent? A. To be sorry for sin, and to hate and forsake it because it is displeasing to God.
Q. 57. What is it to believe or have faith in Christ? A. To trust in Christ alone for salvation.
Q. 58. Can you repent and believe in Christ by your own power? A. No; I can do nothing good without the help of God’s Holy Spirit.
Q. 59. How can you get the help of the Holy Spirit? A. God has told us that we must pray to him for the Holy Spirit.
Q. 60. How long ago is it since Christ died? A. More than nineteen hundred years.
Q. 61. How were pious persons saved before the coming of Christ? A. By believing in a Savior to come.
Q. 62. How did they show their faith? A. By offering sacrifices on God’s altar.
Q. 63. What did these sacrifices represent? A. Christ, the Lamb of God, who was to die for sinners.
Q. 64. What offices has Christ? A. Christ has three offices.
Q. 65. What are they? A. The offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king.
Q. 66. How is Christ a prophet? A. Because he teaches us the will of God.
Q. 67. How is Christ a priest? A. Because he died for our sins and pleads with God for us.
Q. 68. How is Christ a king? A. Because he rules over us and defends us.
Q. 69. Why do you need Christ as a prophet? A. Because I am ignorant.
Q. 70. Why do you need Christ as a priest? A. Because I am guilty.
Q. 71. Why do you need Christ as a king? A. Because I am weak and helpless.
Q. 72. How many commandments did God give on Mount Sinai? A. Ten commandments.
Q. 73. What are the ten commandments sometimes called? A. The Decalogue.
Q. 74. What do the first four commandments teach? A. Our duty to God.
Q. 75. What do the last six commandments teach? A. Our duty to our fellow men.
Q. 76. What is the sum of the ten commandments? A. To love God with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself.
Q. 77. Who is your neighbor?A. All my fellow men are my neighbors.
Q. 78. Is God pleased with those who love and obey him? A. Yes; he says, “I love them that love me.”
Q. 79. Is God displeased with those who do not love and obey him? A. Yes; “God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Q. 80. What is the first commandment? A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Q. 81. What does the first commandment teach us? A. To worship God alone.
Q. 82. What is the second commandment? A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any things that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Q. 83. What does the second commandment teach us? A. To worship God in a proper manner, and to avoid idolatry.
Q. 84. What is the third commandment? A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Q. 85. What does the third commandment teach me? A. To reverence God’s name, word, and works.
Q. 86. What is the fourth commandment? A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it.
Q. 87. What does the fourth commandment teach us? A. To keep the Sabbath holy.
Q. 88. What day of the week is the Christian Sabbath? A. The first day of the week, called the Lord’s day.
Q. 89. Why is it called the Lord’s day? A. Because on that day Christ rose from the dead.
Q. 90. How should the Sabbath be spent? A. In prayer and praise, in hearing and reading God’s Word, and in doing good to our fellow men.
Q. 91. What is the fifth commandment? A. The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Q. 92. What does the fifth commandment teach me? A. To love and obey our parents and teachers.
Q. 93. What is the sixth commandment? A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.
Q. 94. What does the sixth commandment teach us? A. To avoid angry passions.
Q. 95. What is the seventh commandment? A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Q. 96. What does the seventh commandment teach us? A. To be pure in heart, language, and conduct.
Q. 97. What is the eighth commandment? A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
Q. 98. What does the eighth commandment teach us? A. To be honest and industrious.
Q. 99. What is the ninth commandment? A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Q. 100. What does the ninth commandment teach us? A. To tell the truth.
Q. 101. What is the tenth commandment? A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
Q. 102. What does the tenth commandment teach us? A. To be content with our lot.
Q. 103. Can any man keep these ten commandments perfectly? A. No mere man, since the fall of Adam, ever did or can keep the ten commandments perfectly.
Q. 104. Of what use are the ten commandments to us? A. They teach us our duty, and show our need of a Savior.
Q. 105. What is prayer? A. Prayer is asking God for things which he has promised to give.
Q. 106. In whose name should we pray? A. Only in the name of Christ.
Q. 107. What has Christ given us to teach us how to pray? A. The Lord’s Prayer.
Q. 108. Repeat the Lord’s Prayer. A. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Q. 109. How many petitions are there in The Lord’s Prayer? A. Six.
Q. 110. What is the first petition? A. “Hallowed be thy name.”
Q. 111. What do we pray for in the first petition? A. That God’s name may be honored by us and all men.
Q. 112. What is the second petition? A. “Thy kingdom come.”
Q. 113. What do we pray for in the second petition? A. That the gospel may be preached in all the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men.
Q. 114. What is the third petition? A. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Q. 115. What do we pray for in the third petition? A. That men on earth may serve God as the angels do in heaven.
Q. 116. What is the fourth petition? A. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Q. 117. What do we pray for in the fourth petition? A. That God would give us all things needful for our bodies and souls.
Q. 118. What is the fifth petition? A. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Q. 119. What do we pray for in the fifth petition? A. That God would pardon our sins for Christ’s sake, and enable us to forgive those who have injured us.
Q. 120. What is the sixth petition? A. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Q. 121. What do we pray for in the sixth petition? A. That God would keep us from sin.
Q. 122. How many sacraments are there? A. Two.
Q. 123. What are they? A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Q. 124. Who appointed these sacraments? A. The Lord Jesus Christ.
Q. 125. Why did Christ appoint these sacraments? A. To distinguish his disciples from the world, and to comfort and strengthen them.
Q. 126. What sign is used in baptism? A. The washing with water.
Q. 127. What does this signify? A. That we are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ.
Q. 128. In whose name are we baptized? A. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Q. 129. Who are to be baptized? A. Believers and their children.
Q. 130. Why should infants be baptized? A. Because they have a sinful nature and need a Savior.
Q. 131. Does Christ care for little children? A. Yes; for he says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Q. 132. To what does your baptism bind you? A. To be a true follower of Christ.
Q. 133. What is the Lord’s Supper? A. The eating of bread and drinking of wine in remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ.
Q. 134. What does the bread represent? A. The body of Christ, broken for our sins.
Q. 135. What does the wine represent? A. The blood of Christ, shed for our salvation.
Q. 136. Who should partake of the Lord’s Supper? A. Only those who repent of their sins, believe in Christ for salvation, and love their fellow men.
Q. 137. Did Christ remain in the tomb after his crucifixion? A. No; he rose from the tomb on the third day after his death.
Q. 138. Where is Christ now? A. In heaven, interceding for sinners.
Q. 139. Will he come again? A. Yes; at the last day Christ will come to judge the world.
Q. 140. What becomes of men at death? A. The body returns to dust, and the soul goes into the world of spirits.
Q. 141. Will the bodies of the dead be raised to life again? A. Yes; “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised.”
Q. 142. What will become of the wicked in the day of judgment? A. They shall be cast into hell.
Q. 143. What is hell? A. A place of dreadful and endless torment.
Q. 144. What will become of the righteous? A. They shall be taken to heaven.
Q. 145. What is heaven? A. A glorious and happy place, where the righteous shall be forever with the Lord.
Is this what I will be doing for the rest of my life? Is this all there is to motherhood? Two questions every stay at home mother has asked herself at some point in time. I am blessed to have a wonderful godly husband who graciously reminds me how important my role/call is.
When you are almost 8 months pregnant & spend your days wrangling 3 very active toddlers along with the responsibility of maintaining a home that doesn’t look like toys r us ( and 8 loads of laundry) puked in your living room, the thought seems inevitable.
When you believe all your do is cook, change diapers, clean, organize, wipe food off little faces, entertain, etc every single day it becomes very difficult to navigate through those feelings and step back to capture the big picture. These are all small things. They may not seem small at the moment especially when our entire existence revolves around the needs of those God has entrusted to us. But trust me when I say the house work we do everyday does not even begin to define motherhood as a whole.
What then? What is motherhood about? What is the purpose of motherhood?
Allow me to suggest to you that motherhood is a holy calling. Mary, the mother of the Savior was given the greatest role of influence a woman can be entrusted with; nurturing a precious life into adulthood. Teaching them to transfer their dependency from you to their Savior.
In order to understand motherhood from a biblical perspective, we first need to understand what it was designed to accomplish. God blesses us with children that we may raise godly offspring for His glory. That is the entire purpose/ mission of motherhood.
The mundane everyday challenges and activities sure have a way of choking the truth and shifting our focus from the eternal to the temporal. As mothers our call is so enormous, we simply can not afford to be in the word renewing our minds daily. We can not afford not to draw near to God because only He can equip us to be the mothers He has called to be. Or mission will suffer significantly if we claim self sufficiency.
There is no greater call than to raise the next generation, a generation sold out to Christ. A generation that is so radically contrary to this world people will clearly see Christ in and through them. No words needed. Their lives may be the only bible some people may ever read. 🙂
We accomplish this by example. Our children are constantly watching us. What message are we sending them? Is it, I am doing this because I’m supposed to but I’m not content in my role/ call? Do you send the message that there are a million things way more important you can be spending your time, creativity, resources, talents by your lack of patience? Do they honestly think they are a gift from God to be cherished by your loving/ joyful demeanor? After all you are their main instructor on all things “life”.
Sweet friends if this isn’t our heart attitude we need to go back to understanding biblical motherhood. The amazing responsibility God places in the mother to train/ raise these precious little ones to love and honor God and to equip them to embrace the call and purpose God has for their lives.
Motherhood isn’t about dishes, laundry, diapers, dinners and endless arts and crafts projects. It is about us being content right where we are because this is the season in life God has decreed for us. Embrace it instead of trying to hurry through it. Be present instead of wishing the time will pass quickly because the you will be able to enjoy the next season much more. This is a lie. A lie designed to rob mothers of the present time and wonderful memories that could be created.
Wishing you were in a different season in life, wanting more than God decided you need, being mentally absent from precious moments that could be used as teaching moments is how the enemy robs us from the true joy of mothering on purpose.
The same lie that Eve bought into in the garden, we are buying into today. God is holding out on us by calling us to give up everything we think we want to pursue for everything He has designed us to accomplish. We believed the lie that we will be fulfilled by doing something with “real” significance because we first bought the lie that motherhood is just about dishes, laundry and mundane housework. The lie that only women who couldn’t do any better become homemakers ( more like life coaches to a handful of little people).
It is time to replace that lie with the truth.
Motherhood is a high and holy calling that is you choose to embrace with the right heart attitude will impact many generations to come…all for the glory of God.
When women as a society started to believe the lie during the feminist movement, and decided to go venture into the world to find self fulfillment the very fabric of the family in this country was torn. Now the lie about the purpose of motherhood is creeping into our churches. More professing christian mothers are dropping their little ones at a day care facility in order to pursue their “dreams” and in hope of finding some self fulfillment or purpose. Little do they know that is a never ending road, simply unattainable because God designed a mother to embrace motherhood and train/ disciple the next generation.
The call was to die to self. As we do this daily as serve our families as unto the Lord, He will bless us with joy abundantly and fulfillment…knowing we are making a huge impact for the kingdom because motherhood is kingdom work!
“There is no doubt about what a woman’s role is, there’s no doubt what a man’s role is. What has God designed for a woman? Verse 4, “To love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be dishonored.” That’s very clear.
You can get in a lot of trouble by suggesting that kind of stuff. Try standing up in this culture and saying, “Women, you’re commanded to love your husband and to love your children and to work at home and to be subject to your husband.” You’ll get screamed down. I mean, you can be in deep trouble just reading that let alone commenting on it.” John MacArthur
“She is to be a home keeper, that’s the sphere of her responsibility, that’s her place of employment, that’s where she should pour her life. For a mother to get a job outside the home and send the children to some kind of daycare place is to shirk her God-given responsibility. It also is failure to understand that her husband is to be the provider, as Ephesians 5 makes very clear. Even if you wanted to work outside the home to pay for your children to go to a Christian school, you made a big mistake. Better that you should stay in the home and raise your own children to be godly then to pass it on to somebody else.” John MacArthur
Further suggested reading:
The Guilt Trip of Motherhood.
A Stay at home mom’s identity crisis.
For people of faith, a fuller understanding of beauty is that it always points us back towards God’s self and God’s goodness. If we Christians believe Scripture, then even though we recognize that all creation mirrors the beauty of God, we most fully recognize God through the person of Jesus Christ. To look for God is first to look to the Word that bears witness to the Triune God, and then to match up the witness of the illuminating Word with the Spirit’s movement in the world. Following this trajectory presumes that beauty is that which reflects the life of Christ.
Such reasoning offers a whole new landscape on which to spot and cultivate the multiple forms that beauty takes, including what we do with our bodies, and how we use our hands and minds to nurture the flourishing of those in and out of our communities. Consequently, a historical litany of the most beautiful women would include Harriet Tubman, Wangari Muta Maathai, and the numerous Argentinean women known asGrandmothers of La Plaza de Mayo. A God-centered hunger for beauty is most fully satisfied when we pattern our lives after what we know of God’s character through Christ. And this is by no means to suggest a Marcion reading, that we know God only through the New Testament. Rather, as Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoefferposited so beautifully, we know God and his covenant story with humanity only by starting in the middle of God’s story, with Christ.
Our culture’s sinful emphasis on physical beauty doesn’t make it bad. As one naturally motivated and affected by aesthetics, I won’t deny the power of the human form in the peoples and cultures that reveal God’s incomprehensible, holy imagination. As a woman convicted that cultivating internal beauty both honors God and provides a way of living into God’s best for us, I also hold that women, Christian or not, can and should delight in the beauty of their human form.
Physical attributes of beauty are also a segment of beauty from the God-centered perspective. Our bodies are works of divine art, in all their shapes and sizes and various abilities or disabilities. It is always an act of faithfulness to delight in that which God delights, and I believe that God delights in what God creates. How one accentuates the beauty of the human form is another topic altogether, full of subjective arguments. But there is nothing inherently wrong with minding how we look and expressing our attempts, albeit at times quite fallen, to layer our multifaceted ideas of beauty upon that which is already beautiful. I am both playfully and sincerely grateful that I have the luxury to dwell on what I believe is most flattering to my human form, what dresses, occasional shade of lip gloss, or flimsy scarf makes me feel beautiful.
But while I delight in seeking to be beautiful on the inside and on the outside, I don’t hang my existential coat on this body. The grace of Christ and the power of the Spirit help me cultivate the former and hold the latter loosely. There is no doubt that Kanazawa was on to something in that beauty deserves attention. But that attention should ultimately point us back to God, “beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.”
By: Enuma Okoro, holds a Master in Divinity from Duke University.
A New Look at How to Glorify God in Your Body
What is beauty?
Some say beauty fits in a size 0. Some say beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Some say beauty is only skin deep. Some say beauty is only a quality of the heart. Some say beauty is truth. Some say beauty is a lie. Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some say beauty is as beauty does. Some say Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly are beautiful. Some say everyone is beautiful. Some say beauty is divine. Some say beauty is corrupting.
From all this confusion, one idea emerges clearly: The world knows beauty matters. They talk a lot about it, write poetry and paint paintings celebrating it, and spend $160 billion dollars a year on it. But what’s equally clear is that they don’t know what it is. The question is: Do we?
Today’s young Christian women have grown up in the most image-obsessed generation in history, a generation that worships some of the most twisted ideals of beauty the world has ever seen. But whether we love them or hate them… they tend to shape our own perceptions of what beauty is. Some of us accept its ideals, and struggle to fit into its mold – others of us are repulsed by it, concluding that physical beauty itself is immodest, worldly, and unspiritual, and reject the realm of beautification completely. But when all we’ve ever seen is the counterfeit the world offers, we can sometimes forget that the world did not create beauty – God did. And though we all know the world has a lot to say about image, we sometimes don’t realize how much God does too.
It’s time to reclaim beauty. For thousands of years, believers, pagans, Gnostics, Humanists, Neo-Platonists, iconoclasts, and creators of culture have battled over this critical turf called “beauty.” Today, we have only to look at who designs the fashions, markets the beauty icons, rules the red carpet, adorns magazine covers, crowns Miss America, and designs clothes-and-makeup advertisements, to know who is currently holding the turf.
It’s time to take beauty back. When faced with an industry that runs on photoshop airbrushing, plastic surgery, starvation diets, grotesque catwalk styles, and billions of squandered dollars, our response can no longer be, “Beauty is not for us.” It’s time for our response to be, “Get your flag out of our ground.” It’s time for us to be a light in a culture that uses beauty as a weapon against God. It’s time for God’s ambassadors to make His principles – such as modesty and femininity – look as beautiful as they really are. It’s time for us to show the world: Ugliness is not beauty. Emaciation is not beauty. Androgyny is not beauty. Immodesty is not beauty. Unnatural distortion is not beauty. From Genesis to Revelation, God paints a different picture of the inner and outer beauty of a woman, and it’s time to show the world what it really looks like – one soul, one body, one face, one closet at a time.
A Webinar on Reclaiming Beauty
with Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
This fall, the authors of So Much More and It’s (Not That) Complicated and producers of “Return of the Daughters” are launching an intensely practical, image-rich, 7-week webinar on the meaning and cultivation of beauty from the inside out. Join sisters Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin as they dive into Scripture for the answers to an issue of great importance and frustration to young women: personal image.
Is it OK to look pretty? Wear makeup and jewelry? Put effort into my clothes? Take care of my body? Do I have to care about how I look? Where can I find modest, classy clothes without spending a fortune? What should my attitude be toward the latest fashions? How do I figure out what looks good on me? What is appropriate to wear when? What in the world do I do with my hair?
“Reclaiming Beauty: A New Look at How to Glorify God in Your Body” will cover topics ranging from such practical issues as skincare, fitness, posture, voice, modesty, home-made beauty products, and color analysis… to subjects as penetrating as personal identity, insecurity, comparisons, worldliness, vanity, idolatry, our attitude toward others, and the state of our hearts before the Lord.
- What it means to represent the Lord as His ambassadors to the world
- Where true beauty starts
- What the Bible says about beautification and adornment
- How we should respond to the world’s idea of beauty
- The history and philosophy behind the most popular garments
- The proper priority-level of beauty in the Christian’s life
- The biblical relationship between the physical and the spiritual
- What it means to be separate from the world
- What we can learn from the beauty industry
- What the beauty industry has gotten wrong
Get practical tips on:
- Clothing yourself better for a lot less money
- Making modesty and femininity look excellent instead of frumpy
- Making off-the-rack clothes modest
- Putting together great outfits with what you already had in your closet
- Using makeup tastefully
- Giving sloppy garments new life with minimum alterations
- Cultivating taste and style
- Getting out of a fashion rut
- Creating a minimum-time-and-effort plan for looking nice every day
A Webinar That’s Not Just Skin Deep
Webinar sessions will run every Tuesday evening, 7-8 PM Central Time, from September 25 to November 13 (excluding October 30). The seven sessions include:
#1. What God Says About Beauty and Beautification
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
#2: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul?
Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Your True Identity is Showing
#3. Getting Your Temple in Order
The Physical Foundations of Beauty
#4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
How to Work with the Build, Coloring, and Natural Beauty God Gave You
#5: Putting Things Together
Composition, Style, Occasion, Accessories
#6: Acquiring New Pieces (and Revitalizing Old Ones)
How to Get What You Need with Minimum Time, Money, and Fuss
#7: The Focal Point
Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Hair
The webinar registration fee is $44 per family. It is recommended for young women 12 and up, although parents are encouraged to listen with their daughters. Visit http://westernconservatory.com/reclaiming-beauty-webinar
Starting out as aesthetic ascetics and determined frumps who were clueless about beauty and fashion, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth have had to build their understanding of beauty from the biblical foundation up (a work still in progress). They have no beauty certifications whatsoever, though they do have experience dressing for everything from speaking engagements to political events to concert harp performances to good old dirty work around the farm, and each get everything they need (clothes, shoes, hair care, accessories, cosmetics, etc.) for around $130 a year. They’re also interested in reclaiming the biblical family, film, art, music, and politics, and work with their family’s ministry, Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences.
Our culture (even most Christians) will look down upon those who choose to shelter their children from the messed up/ backwards culture we live in. How ironic. They complain about everything that is wrong with the youth today yet they oppose parents who refuse to let their children partake in the very culture that is anti-christianity, anti-values and anti-morals. How did we get here? I mean, who dropped the ball? I see a lot of older people complain about our generation but I have some ugly news (truth) to fill you in folks…YOU dropped the ball. No, this is not the blame game…this is hard truth and honesty. For a moment lets examine ourselves and the way we trained our kids. Send them off to school, did you? Spent but a few minutes in ACTUAL dialogue with your little ones as they grew up because you were so busy working, and cooking when you got home you didn’t have enough time to REALLY dig deep into that child’s soul and give them the foundation they needed…am I right? You allowed them to watch secular tv, listen to secular music and wear all the hip clothing everyone else did, just because you felt so guilty for not being around you overcompensated with “making them happy”…? Are you still wondering how we got here? I am not.
Older folks, don’t complain about our generation because YOU were the ones who raised us! 🙂 SAD but true!
Now, to the newer generation of parents…to you I say: WHY? Why are you raising your child just like unbelievers do? Oh, you take them to church? WOW! What’s that? You do an occasional bible study with them? Hmmm. Thought provoking. As believers our goal is to be more like Christ as we undergo the sanctification process. That doesn’t mean you allow your children to blend in with the world for the sake of evangelism. The biggest excuse I have ever heard on why parents allow the their children to do/watch/listen to the things they do is ” They are called to be salt and light, and besides we can’t shelter them because they wont know how to live in the “real” world.” Apparently God wants us to live in an unreal world. What is the “real world” to you? Being cool and accepted by a bunch of brats at school that don’t know the first thing about acting un-foolish?! Not getting into too much trouble during middle school and high school? Not sleeping around too much, or at least not getting anyone pregnant? Or how about not drinking too much? Sounds to me like a bunch of mediocre expectations to pave the way to a mediocre kid.
I am going to let you in on a little secret…the “real world is not what society tells you it is. The REAL world is what God defines it to be. And He has outlined HOW we are to live in THIS world. LIVE IN the WORLD NOT of the world. Meaning, you are alive in this present cosmos but DO NOT be tainted by it. Be separate. BE SET APART! Instead, we are confusing our children to kingdom come because in one hand we allow all this behavior OF the world while we tell them not to be of the world. HUH? By your actions you send a message. Don’t think they will listen to your words and ignore your actions. By example you are leading them to be lukewarm. By example you are introducing them to lukewarm christianity because in all honesty the kind of Christianity people like the Duggars live is just, well, too radical. I mean, no cable? They don’t date in high school and have NO desire to? They let God decide how many children to bless them with? The girls uphold the highest standards when it comes to modesty. They don’t listen to secular music or read teen bop?!!!
CRAZY! I know! Not so much…that’s the way it is in our home. I don’t want kids that blend in. I want kids that will set the standard for others when they are in public. I want kids so grounded in truth and their love for the Savior, their desires will be that of Jesus.
Whoever said that kids need to be exposed to the garbage our culture has to offer in order to be “prepared” for the “real world” is a moron (fool) to say the least. They don’t have any idea what the “real world” is and how radical the call of the Savior is. His call is to be His disciple, not just His convert. To DIE to self and follow HIM. If you do not take this call to parenthood seriously, you will find yourself 10 years down the road asking what went wrong. Don’t treat your child like an adult. A child is not to be salt and light beloved, a child is to be discipled. They are to be protected and influenced by godly and wholesome things only! Childhood is a time to build character and integrity, to set a solid foundation of biblical morals and values that will influence every decision your child will make for the rest of his life. Who is he being influenced by? The atheistic public school system? Secular TV, that seeks to brain wash your kids into having sex at 9 years old (don’t tell me that cartoon channels are exempt). Hannah Montana perhaps? Who is their “idol”? The answers to these questions will tell you if you are raising a worldly child with some Jesus sprinkled on top or if you are seeking to raise genuine disciples. As for me and my house, we will continue to raise our children “sheltered” from this sick culture that seeks nothing more than to destroy our children’s innocence and to ensnare them in addictions from a young age.
This was my FB status today in response to someone stating that our kids ought to be ready for the real world and being around unbelievers…when I posted about homeschooling and the fact that christian schools are looking more and more like public schools when it comes to morals/values…
The call to be salt and light in the world was never given to a child. Children are overexposed to way too much garbage these days. Moreover, you can’t honestly tell me the Duggar kids don’t know how to function in the ” real world”. They do! They were protected from the garbage and taught discernment in their home by their mother and father. They didn’t have to go to any institution to know how to deal with unbelievers. A child was never given the call to save anyone and to that effect no one can ” save” anyone. When you send your child off to school you are setting them up for disaster. God never gave the authority to the government or anyone else to train a child but the parents alone! A child that is away from their parents 8-10 hours a day by the very definition are not being raised by their parents. I don’t need to experience homosexuality to be ale to witness to a homosexual. I don’t need to expose my child to a lot of things in order to equip them to live in the ” real world”. We have a lot of mixed up and messed up Christianity today because Christians continue to use the excuse of a child being salt and light and sending their kids off to the atheist government to be indoctrinated to hate God. You don’t stand a chance as a parent is you only get to influence them on the weekends and a few hours at night. We impact society by training our own children as God expects us to, to be SEPARATE, not to blend in for the sake of evangelism. To be radical and untainted by the world. When that child become an adult their solid foundation has been established at home and they will be more than equipped to share the gospel by the way they live. I know a lot of Christians that act just like unbelievers in order to ” reach” them and that is not only a disservice to the Lord, is not biblical christianity. So I will continue to raise my kids in a bubble, and away from all the garbage s culture has to offer. I have a 10-year-old that was raised that way and he is completely different from all the other 10 year olds I have known. He loves the Lord, does not conform to anyone’s pattern…takes his bible to school to read on his spare time not because anyone told him to, but because he loves the bible. Has never said a bad word and reads books on integrity ( by choice) after school. So if you ask me, it works! The bible works! Protecting your children from this dysfunctional, messed up ungodly culture works!
In closing, I know 14-year-old girls who profess Christ…have Christian parents and they are dating, wearing tiny shorts, being disrespectful to parents, using make up etc. HOW their parents do not see what’s coming is beyond my comprehension. Do not be alarmed to find that your kids walk away from the faith when they are older because chances are they never saw real faith lived out on their homes to begin with. How is a child supposed to want to be set apart if parents have no such desire in their personal lives? The problem is not the children! The problem is the lack of biblical parenting from so-called “Christians”.
This culture has nothing but foolishness to offer my precious children. It doesn’t equip them to honor or serve the Lord, it calls them to resist the Creator, to rebel against parents and do defy all morals and values. Why would I want my children to be exposed to that? They are very fragile when they are growing up…that is the time to learn right vs wrong and absolute truth. There is no absolute truth in our culture, and without absolute truth you have an “everything goes” culture, I don’t want any part of. When God called us to be set apart, that’s what He meant. Not to blend in and have some label on the side that spells “Christian on weekends”. To be set apart is to have nothing to do with the rest, what/who you are being set apart FROM. Do not look like them, do not talk like them, do not listen or watch what they do but be the opposite of what our culture suggests. Lukewarm christianity is rampant in our country and if you don’t take a radical stance against it, you will be sucked right into it.
Wholly yours by David Crowder Band…
You are everything that is bright and clean
And You’re covering me with Your majesty
And the truest sign of grace was this
From wounded hands redemption fell down
You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to be holy like You are
But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel
The depth of our fall and the weight of it all
And so this might could be the most impossible thing
Your grandness in me making me clean
Glory, glory, hallelujah
So here I am, all of me
Wholly, wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly
I am wholly, wholly, wholly
I am full of earth and dirt and you are…
This song displays Gods grace. Grace that even though we are filthy sinners and deserve flames He not only calls us to repentance but also forgives us for being so wicked at heart. Also the sense of conviction in the bridge displays Gods grace further in that we are mere sinners and so undeserving of Gods love and sometimes it seems just so impossible that we could be loved so much. Not that it is impossible, that’s just how one would feel when he feels convicted of his own sin and recognizes how graceful God really is…
The Sufficiency of God’s Grace by Dr. John MacArthur. http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-72/The-Sufficiency-of-Gods-Grace
FYI: If one of my girls ever dared to give me the attitude demonstrated on the picture to the left, they would be grounded for at least a month. I would assume she is out of her mind and quickly help her in finding it! 🙂
Every single one of us either HAS a rebellious teen or knows of someone who does. On this post I am going to give you some tools for you to be able to train them up and address some discipline issues you may be experiencing with them.
First and foremost we can’t address discipline issues without addressing relationship issues. My favorite parenting author says…
“Rules without relationship, breeds rebellion.” Chip Ingram.
No matter what age or stage your children are at it’s never too late to start cultivating a strong relationship with them based on love, trust and discipline. A parent that loves is a parent that disciplines! God disciplines those He loves, the Word states. Parents who hate their children don’t bother to guide/discipline them.
Establish both a bible study night and a family night every week. Pick a bible study where you have no prep work need if you are a busy parent and bring the whole family together to go through the word. It is our responsibility as parents to teach the Word of God to our children. It is not the school’s or church’s responsibility. We need to actively guide and equip our children to grow spiritually. I am going to assume most of my readers send their children to “school” so I am going to write it with that in mind. If you are a homeschooler, all this applies! LOL 🙂
You can’t make your children love God nor want to study His word but what you CAN do is demand respect and appropriate behavior when a bible study is taking place in your home. They need to see you actively being the leader they need. Parenting in a passive manner is no parenting at all. Good parenting takes time, it takes effort and a lot of consistency. Talk to them about their day. Write them notes they can find in their backpacks. Small things will do wonders when you are trying to establish/nurture a relationship with your teens (or children in general). The more they see you trying to have a relationship with them the more they will be willing to accept the discipline without rebellion. I have to be clear on this though, if you have a teen that is rebelling, both relationship and rules MUST be established ASAP! Don’t wait to establish a relationship to set rules. It will never happen because part of establishing a healthy relationship IS rules/discipline. They go hand in hand.
Set a date night when the two of you can just go out and talk. Be involved in their lives. I ask my son (almost 10), theological questions…I want to know where he is at with the Lord. I find out his fears or doubts and I am able to guide him in the right direction and equip him to seek it out himself. Not only that, I ask everyday how school is going, the info they give you may be irrelevant to your existence yet it matters to them because RIGHT NOW that is their world. They need you as a leader and a believer to share with them a biblical worldview. Help them change the way they see the world to the way God sees the world. By example.
Now that we have gone over some ways which you can establish a relationship with them we need to go over rules/discipline.
WARNING: In order to change your children’s lives radically, your parenting must radically CHANGE!
I must warn you dear friend, you may not agree with me on these issues I will bring up but TRUST me I know they work!
First of all, don’t EVER excuse your child’s behavior by any circumstance. Exp: they act like that because of so and so or because _________. Fill in the blank. Even though there are some valid reasons why they rebel, don’t excuse them. They need to be accountable for their own behavior as much as YOU need to be accountable for the contribution you or those in your family have made to their rebellion, if any. If you have a dysfunctional family, you need to take responsibility for such and fix it. We need to get to the core issues, the heart matter before we try to deal with symptoms. Symptoms are not the problem, the heart issue is. If your teen is giving you an attitude, that is a symptom of an issue that HAS to be addressed.
Your teen needs to understand there are privileges and consequences. If they violate the trust you have places in them they will lose privileges and earn consequences. There’s absolutely no reason why a teen should have a phone with internet access. It is beneficial to them? Absolutely NOT. There is no good reason (it is actually detrimental to them, it is an unwise waste of time) for a teen to have an iPhone or any other smart phone. They need a phone to call in case of emergency and supervised/sensible conversation time with friends. We are training children to be insensible. They reason everyone has it so they need to as well. This isn’t a matter of “well, we got it for free so it was a smart move”…no it wasn’t. You just gave them a way to browse the web and be exposed to temptation left and right. ALL kinds of temptations. We are over stuffing them with technology to the point they not only feel entitled they don’t even know what being sensible is.
Our job as parents is to train them to be sensible, responsible, to honor their father and mother and without active parenting that is impossible.
Take the phone away, they don’t need it to begin with even more so when they rebel. Take the phone! Yes, I said it. 🙂 A phone is a privilege they need to ear by their respectful behavior. After all which one of your teens, pays for rent, food, utilities etc? Yeah…..If they are dependents they need to abide by the rules you set!
Computers…No teen should be left with a computer without safeguard software on it. There are plenty of christian programs that monitor and block sites. You need to monitor your child’s internet activity on a weekly basis. All passwords must be given to you and periodically check every device. If your children want privacy, they can have it when they PAY for their own needs in their own place. No child is due any technological privacy, it’s nonsense!
I sit with my son and put songs we choose together on his iPod. He doesn’t get to pick whatever he wants. First of all we don’t listen to ANY secular music so he has no interest in it…even if he did. I would listen to the song and make a judgment as to if it’s appropriate, etc. Monitor their iPods, dvd’s, books and may I also suggest DO NOT buy your child ANY magazines! There are christian magazines you can subscribe to. No secular teen bop, allure or anything else. That is just brainwashing them with unhappiness, wanting more and SEX believe it or not!
If you have a girl (with boys too) you need to motor what they wear. They do not go shopping by themselves if they do not understand and seek modesty. Go through their closet and throw out every immodest article of clothing you can find. Teach your girls modesty by example. Don’t allow them to wear mini skirts and short shorts. It is immodest and it is not bringing glory to God in any way.
If they have a car and you have tried everything else and nothing works, take it away! They simply can’t drive anymore.
Teens today are raised with entitlement issues, they have become demanding brats! Throwing tantrums at the hearing of Noooooo.
Parents have become weak, they don’t have a relationship with them to begin with so the guilt of the lack of involvement bids a parent to give in, in order for their children to be happy. I understand that. I truly do. I want my children to be happy as well, what mother doesn’t, right?
But I do not want my children to be happy if it interferes with them being holy.
If you have issue with your teen, or just want encouragement you can always send me an email at LightnerCrew@hotmail.com.
There I was, 19 years old sitting on a brand new Lincoln SUV. That was my Birthday gift. You would have thought I would have been floored, appreciative to say the least, right? Hmmm. Yea I was… until I saw the Hummer H2 SUT. I wanted it, I threw a tantrum and I got it. That’s how it worked. It always worked, so don’t change what’s not broken right? So then I wanted a new GTO with chrome rims and all. Got it! Hummer, check! GTO, check! So then I got bored with my GTO and wanted a Hummer again. Hmmm. You would have thought someone would have picked up my trend by now and actually took the time to address some serious heart issues behind my erratic behavior. NOPE, of course no one did. You guessed right! I got another Hummer, this time NOT the SUT, I was bored of that one! And then I went through a Lexus, another Hummer… ETC.
I was on a quest to BE better. A better ME is what I wanted. Apparently the only me I knew was a flawed me. I wanted someone to love me so bad I figured that the better I looked the more loved I would be. I spent over 20K on my wardrobe…everything from Roberto Cavalli to Jimmy Choo. I knew my fashion, I still do. 😉 Louis Vuitton & Chanel purses, expensive enough to feed a small village in Africa. I was raised with an emotionally absent dad so the need I had to be captivating to my daddy as a little girl went unmet. So of course as I grew up I looked for that need to met in all the wrong places. I had a very low self-esteem. I did not see myself as anything anyone would see “worth pursuing”. I knew how to get a guy, I was seriously unsure on how to keep him, though. What if he got to know the real me? If he did, I was certain he would bail! I didn’t even know why, I was easy to talk to, smart gal, good company…why would they bail?! The lie I had bought… ” If they get to know the real you, they will not like you. You are unlovable. NOT ENOUGH AND WAY TOO MUCH.” The lie satan tells every single woman!!! I was using anti wrinkle creams by the time I was 19. Always weighed 125. If I went over that by 3 lbs, I would eat beef sticks and red bull for a few days until I lost the weight. I was OBSESSIVE!!! I was on a mission to be good enough to be LOVED.
SO what did I do, I married at 19 ( I came to the Lord 2-3 weeks after). I married a PORN addict! HAH! I wept uncontrollably when I started to read the Bible and understood for the first time how sacred marriage was to God. I begged him to get me out of it. It was dysfunctional at worst, AWFUL at best. So add a porn addict to my already fragile femininity….and you have a recipe for disaster. I could NEVER compete with that! I just couldn’t. I was not good enough and even if I were, there’s always someone better looking and if not better looking, younger. So it’s a hamster wheel! The crazy bus I wanted to get off of. Next exit please!!!!
I struggled through this, I didn’t know how to get out it. The co-dependency grew stronger as I wanted to feel a connection with the man I had married…ding dong….the light’s on but nobody’s home. It just didn’t happen. He was emotionally handicap, I am going to venture to say he still is due to the fact his entire family LOVES sweeping things under the carpet, that’s a family mechanism, a way of life. Don’t deal with it just ignore it so he never dealt with his ISSUES, he just swept them. He treated women as objects and so do MANY men today, men who even profess Christ. When a woman is treated like an object or feels she has to compete for the love of her husband, the man who is supposed to be willing to lay down his life for her (yet he can’t even seem to lay down the darn porn), a women sinks into despair. Despair brings depression if she doesn’t know where to go with her pain.
Now as mom of 4 beautiful little ones ( I am 155lbs now and HAPPY) , married to a wonderful godly man I don’t struggle with this issue as I used to. Not to say I don’t at all. We all compare ourselves at one time or another. We know our flaws better than anyone else because we are way harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. I have my days but I am not bound by this obsession any longer. I love taking care of myself but it is no longer an unhealthy venture of self-absorption day in and day out. Gym, creams, expensive cars, top designers…no longer needed to make me feel secure. I can buy an outfit at the nearest thrift store and walk in a room as confident as wearing a John Galliano gown. 🙂
How did I get here? Happy with whatever God gives me and grateful for who I am in Christ? I had to learn to run to the Lord. People used to tell me, just turn to Christ and that’s great advise, but my question was always “HOW?” HOW do i turn to Christ? What does that look like? I am going to tell you what that looks like. I went through the word of God and looked for everything God had to say about a woman. What He sees beautiful in a woman… What he sees virtuous, good, beautiful, captivating…I allowed the word of God to wash me from the inside out and changed everything I thought about womanhood into everything God designed womanhood to be. True womanhood is noble. Being a woman of God is a noble role, it is a virtuous role, a life changing role. You have been changed with raising the next generation, godly offspring. I listened to sermons from John MacArthur on womanhood, read books on biblical womanhood and a reformation started to take place in my heart and thus my mind. See, you can’t change your mind with any kind of change that will last if you do not first address your heart. Until’ God changes you from the inside and replaces all those lies we have believed of what “true womanhood” is with what God says it IS, we will live in bondage. We may have good days but still in bondage. If we want true freedom, we must begin with the changing of our hearts, the mind will follow.
Take one day at a time…look for everything in the word that has to do with biblical womanhood. Memorize it, study it, meditate on it and allow the Word to change you. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen because the Word has that power! I had to realize I had to take my eyes off what the world says I am to be/look and keep my eyes on the one who dictates who I really AM. If you are a beautiful mama, dealing with self-esteem issues I have to tell you the only way I was able to find myself, my true feminine heart was when i laid it all down to serve my husband and children. The longer I fought with “this is all I am doing for the rest of my life? REALLY? Changing diapers, bottles, schooling, lunch, dinner, colors, baths, teaching, messes, runny noses, vacuuming twelve times a day…etc. REALLY? You have got to be kidding me! WHAT WAS I THINKING?”, the more i fell in despair. That wasn’t what God wanted me to look at or focus on. So guilt set in and I knew I was out of His will when I felt like this. What did I do? I stopped looking around and started looking up.
I repented of my ungrateful, bratty attitude and embraced my role. My perspective needs a tweak one in a while! So when I get bratty with God, he gives me an attitude check and off I go to RE-study all the wonderful verses on women in the word. Change my perspective (through the word) and consequently have a heart change. And that beloved is how Christ changed my life. He changed the way I view womanhood, the way I view modesty, my role etc. I am not perfect so satan comes knocking once in a while, but he no longer finds his thoughts entertained in my head! They are quickly replaced by the TRUTH. The TRUTH that set me free.
Next time satan comes knocking with “you are not beautiful enough”, “good enough”, “whatever enough…” answer with…
*1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
*Proverbs 31:3 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
The world says, defend and protect “self-esteem” at all cost. Be tough! Don’t be vulnerable because you WILL be taken advantage of. So women are more like men, in the way the talk, dress and carry themselves. TRUE Femininity is frowned upon and seen as weak because it is not a “flaunt it all” kind of femininity, true femininity is strong in spirit yet soft, steadfast and sweet in character. This world confuses femininity with sexuality. True womanhood has NOTHING to do with what you look like! The only way to find your true worth (“self esteem”) is to find out who Christ created you to be. What HE sees in you and what your role is in this wonderful, romantic adventure called LIFE. Until you stop trying to protect yourself in all the wrong ways and surrender the pain to Christ you won’t find true SELF ESTEEM…the assurance and joy of true biblical womanhood.
Self esteem is not about loving yourself “just how you are” as many suggest. Self esteem is loving who God created you to be (humble, meek, strong spirited, hard working, steadfast, trust worthy, compassionate, wise, simply beautiful!) and the role He gave you as a help meet. True self esteem is found when we die to everything worldly we have become throughout the years and live as the NEW creature we are in Christ, washing our minds by the word renewing our hearts by the TRUTH of Scripture.
You are exactly who you need to be when you allow Christ to define who you really are. Captivating, feminine, vulnerable, sweet, courageous, a warrior princess!
1 Timothy 4:8
Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.
How to become a modern day Proverbs 31 Woman.
Dr. John MacArthur’s book, Twelve Extraordinary Women.
Don’t judge the book by the first few pages! One thousand Gifts will surely leave you with one thousand ways of acquiring BAD, UNSOUND Theology and an erroneous and dangerous view of God, our Creator!
I messed that one up. Lack of discernment in doing my homework to say the least. I am talking about Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. I read and follow numerous bloggers (homemakers, christian mama’s) who endorse and rave about Ann’s book. So what do I think? These women are christian…this must be a sound book to read. Looking back at SOME of these blogs there is no sound theology anywhere to be found, other than a few verses thrown in each post. Sound doctrine? WHERE? Nowhere!
So I got a preview of Ann’s book…read the first few pages and I thought this was about her life story…maybe her testimony. AND THEN, I get a friend who suggests I look into the reviews because the book is full of positive confession thoughts. Hmmm. That raises a huge flag on the theological dept. of my brain! Positive confession is linked to mysticism. Mysticism is pagan and demonic in nature. So i ventured so check out a few reviews (after i had bought the book on my iPhone), yeah good time to read reviews, good one Laire! What do I found overwhelmed me, surprised me and baffled me all at the same time. Questions raced through my mind… WOW, the panentheism is clearly evident in the pages of this book, I just had read the first few pages of the book and it starts with her life story so I hadn’t gotten to the mystic parts yet (thank God, I would have had to burn my iPhone! LOL). How does a christian get mixed in or caught up in this nonsense? How do they not see what the heck is severely wrong with this view and warn others? How do they endorse this book? Do these ladies not understand the kind of accountability they are under when they endorse things that are contrary to sound doctrine. If I would have continue to read this book, I would have come to the parts where an alarm would have sounded in my head and heart going “there’s something wrong with this! What the heck???!!!” I would have warned others… This book has not a lick of sound doctrine in it. The beginning story will capture you, lure you in and you feel like you can’t put the book down. It is FAR from biblically sound. The depiction of God in this book is nowhere to be found in the Bible. I do not recommend this book to anyone, moreover I recommend everyone STAY AWAY from it…as far as they can!
Here is a biblically sound review of the book by Bob Dewaay @ Romantic Panentheism. A Review of One Thousand Gifts.
“Panentheism teaches that God’s essence or being is in everything. This is not the doctrine of omnipresence (though it would affirm it). If God in His essence and essential being is found in everything, then there is nothing unique about Christ (which is precisely the New Age claim). Biblically, nature does not reveal God and His glory in the same way Christ does. Nature reveals God obliquely and only in a condemning, not saving, way. Christ reveals God in His divine nature and speaks God’s inerrant words. Jesus spoke inerrant, binding words that will be our judge on the last day (John 12:48). The moon does no such thing.
As an example of her panentheism, Voskamp describes an experience where she finds salvation by gazing at a full moon in a harvested wheat field:
Has His love lured me out here to really save me? I sit up in the wheat stubble, drawn. That He would care to save. Moon face glows. We are head to head. I am bare; He is bare. All Eye sees me (Voskamp: 115).
Her experience is described in salvific terms: “It’s dawning, my full moon rising. I was lost but know I am found again” (Voskamp: 118). She claims an “inner eye” that sees God in a panentheistic way: “If my inner eye has God seeping up through all things, then can’t I give thanks for anything? . . . The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible” (Voskamp: 118). In Romans 1, “seeing” God through general revelation in a way that makes all humans culpable is true for all, not just special enlightened ones like Voskamp.
There are other troubling things about the claim that salvation can be found in seeing God in the harvest moon. One is that Voskamp implies that for her, “salvation” is being saved from an unhappy life filled with ingratitude. She never mentions God’s wrath against sin (she does mention sin but not in the context of substitutionary atonement). Another is that she completely confuses and merges general and special revelation. General revelation does not offer saving knowledge, whatever the meaning of her experience “chasing the moon” (her terminology). Yet another is that panentheism is implied here and throughout the book.”
By Bob Dewaay (Insert from Article above).
Other reviews I recommend reading is First John Four Five, One Thousand Gifts Review.
I wrote a blog post (A Warning to fellow Homemaker/Homeschooler Blogging Moms.) on this issue of homemakers/homeschooler bloggers having no sound theology on their sites and it goes to show how when you lack sound doctrine you are able to read a bloom cover to cover and NEVER pick pagan mysticism up. Sad!
Note to mom bloggers: My suggestion…put your computer down, stop blogging about things that do not matter so you can be featured in other blogs and admired by other bloggers and PICK UP YOUR BIBLE. Once you have done that and have set your doctrinal views solely on the Word then start blogging again. With purpose…with substance and with sound doctrine. Having 10 million posts on how many dishes you do, how much you sacrifice and how you homeschool when you lack sound doctrine matters not. It doesn’t impress God and you aren’t making a real difference for the kingdom.
Behind every single BLOG, sound doctrine must be found….it is the backbone of life changing writing. Just because you have something to say doesn’t mean it’s worth saying. I am learning that the hard way. 🙂 Don’t trust anyone you do not know (in character and doctrine) to do book reviews for you because they endorse it. Most christians today have no idea what the term “propitiation” means…or “limited atonement” much less spot unsound, pagan doctrine when they read it. They can’t spot unsound doctrine when they read it because they don’t spend enough time reading SOUND doctrine (the Word). How are people trained to spot false dollar bills? By studying the counterfeits? NO. By mastering the REAL bills so when a counterfeit one comes along they spot it easily. We run to too many books instead of THE BOOK which all other books MUST be filtered through. 🙂
John MacArthur warns about the emergent church…
Woman’s entire existence, in order to be a source of happiness to others as well as to herself, must be one of self-sacrifice. The first step in this royal pathway to all goodness and greatness, is to forget self. Self, with its miserable little cares and affections, is the root of all wretchedness we cause to others, and all the misery we endure ourselves. Every effort we make to forget self, to leave self behind us, and to devote ourselves to the labor of making every person which whom we live with, happy, is rewarded by inner satisfaction and joy. The first step to becoming unselfish is to forget one’s own pains and suffering, in order to alleviate those of others.
What we need most, are benevolent wives, mothers and sisters in the dwellings of our over-burned laborers. We need women for whom the roof above them and four walls which enclose their dear ones are the only world they care to know. We need women who set their hearts on making their homes pleasant, sunny, and fragrant for their husband. He who works from dawn till dusk for the little home and the wife and babes, looks forward to the warm welcome that awaits him when the long day is over; of the bright smile and the loving words that will be sure to greet him when he crosses the threshold of his own little Eden; of the cheerful fire in winter and the humble meal made so delicious by the love that prepares it and the sweet words that season it. The rest, security, and peace will encourage the overflowing heart of the husband and father and brother to think and to say there is no spot of earth so dear and so blessed as the little sanctuary built up and adorned and made full of song by a true woman’s heart.
O woman, if you only knew how much you have it in your ability, with Christ’s unfailing assistance, to make true men of your chosen husband and sons, as well as true women of the little girls who will someday fill your apron.
The matrimonial union has its model in the union of Christ with his Church. His great love for her is the type of great and self-devoting love which husband and wife should ever have for each other. Did you ever reflect, that when you put your hand in your husband’s hand before the Church – giving him your heart and your life till death – that God has promised to be ever by the side of those who believe and trust in Him. Such grace enables you to love your husband more and more daily, with a deeper and a holier love, taking up his cross courageously, and cheering him to labor and to suffer, because you both know that God is ever with you.
No matter how poor the woman’s home is or how hard her husband’s lot, the true, selfless woman will cheer his heart, and so lighten his burden. May the quote of Shakespeare be constantly on her tongue:
“My heart is ever at your service.”
Daughters of Destiny
What is womanhood? Is there any more important question for young women to consider than this? It should be the highest ambition of every young woman to strive toward possessing a heart of true womanhood. Earth presents no higher object of attainment. To be a woman, in the truest and highest sense of the word, is to be the best thing beneath the skies. To be a woman is something more than to live eighteen or twenty years; something more than to grow to the physical stature of women; something more than to wear flounces, exhibit dry-goods, sport jewelry, catch a gaze of lewd-eyed men; something more than to be a beauty, a wife, or a mother. Put all these qualifications together and they do but little toward making a true woman.
Beauty and style are not the surest passports to womanhood some of the noblest examples of womanhood in the world, have looked quite plain in outward appearance. A woman’s worth is to be estimated by the real goodness of her heart, the greatness of her soul, and the purity and sweetness of her character; and a woman with a kindly disposition and well-balanced temper, is both lovely and attractive, even if her face is plain and her figure imperfect; she makes the best of wives and the truest of mothers. She has a higher purpose in living than the beautiful, yet vain and supercilious woman, who has no higher ambition than to flaunt her finery on the street, or to gratify her inordinate vanity by extracting flattery and praise from society, whose compliments are as hollow as the are insincere.
Bo gift from heaven is so general and so widely abused by woman as the gift of beauty. In many cases, it makes her thoughtless, giddy, vain, proud, frivolous, selfish, low and mean. I think I have seen more girls spoiled by beauty than by any other one thing. “She is beautiful and she knows it,” is as much as to say she is spoiled. A beautiful girl is very likely to believe she was made to be looked at. And believing and acting thus, she soon becomes good for nothing else, and when she comes to be a middle-aged woman she is the weakest, most sickening of all human beings – a faded beauty. Outward beauty is shallow – only skin deep; fleeting only reigning for a season. But inward beauty will last forever.
If you desire to be admires and beloved, be an example of beautiful womanhood and cultivate the virtues of the heart. Wealth may surround you with its blandishness, and beauty, learning, or talents may give you admirers, but love and kindness alone captivate the heart. Whether you live in a cottage or a palace, these graces can surround you with perpetual sunshine, making you, and all those around you, happy.
Seek then, fair daughters, the possession of the inward grace, whose essence shall fragrance and vitalize the affections, adorn the countenance, make sweet the voice, and impart a hallowed beauty throughout your very being.