Would You Like to Have a Finer Femininity Meeting?

It’s easy, it’s simple and it’s fun!! And you could transform a life or two…. including your own!!

We all could use some support in our journey as a woman, wife and mother, right?!

It was about eight years ago and I was nervous. REAL nervous. So I invited 2 young ladies…yes the big number of TWO! And they were my daughter’s girlfriends. I wasn’t about to take any BIG risks!  :)

I got a lump in my throat when one of the girls walked in with her mother! Yikes!

That mother turned out to be a very big blessing.

We had our first little meeting. I read a few things from a book that touched me….things I found helpful.  I timidly encouraged the conversation. It was a simple meeting.

I was a little apprehensive that maybe the meeting went over like a lump of coal but Mary Ann loved it! Her enthusiasm was what I needed. Since then, she has been most enthusiastic,  she still comes, and is one of the biggest supporters.

I felt like a guilty kid trying to skip school but every once in a while I would try to wiggle out of a meeting, for whatever reason.

I think I would have had to show one of those pink, signed slips of paper with a valid excuse to Mary Ann because she wouldn’t hear of it. She looked forward to each meeting and prodded me to be consistent.  It kept me going through thick and thin. I considered it a blessing.IMG_0388-001IMG_0322

We meet every second Tuesday of the month at noon. Everyone brings a little something for lunch. Sometimes the day is too busy and the ladies will grab the quickest thing they can think of….crackers and cheese, chips and salsa or whatever. ‘Some meetings they will get more creative with chocolate dipped strawberries, cream puffs, pinwheels….yum!

It’s relaxed and it doesn’t matter what the snacks are…. but it DOES give an opportunity to bring some of those special hors d’oeuvres that ladies really can “get into”!

Our meeting starts with the reading of The Purpose of Finer Femininity and then one of the ladies will lead a prayer. Since I dedicated our Finer Femininity meeting to St. Anne, we always include an invocation to her at the end of the prayer.IMG_0337

I begin the meeting by just reading something uplifting from whatever topic I have decided for the month.
Some topics include Attitude, Acceptance, Nurturing the Womanly Arts (some of us bring our “crafty” things for show and tell), Submission, Radiant Health, Enthusiasm, etc. Sometimes I am zealous and I prepare a powerpoint with pictures and maybe even a video or two.

I have a few articles picked out for a regular meeting. I encourage input after each article. The ladies (myself included) have loosened up quite a bit and I find I don’t have to do so much of the reading/talking on my own.

I also encourage the other ladies to bring their own articles or stories to share with everyone, as long as the tone is positive. We don’t allow griping or talking about our husbands or others in a negative fashion at these meetings. It would defeat the purpose.

About halfway through the meeting is Question and Answer time.

I have usually jotted down 4 or 5 questions about the topic, how it applies to our lives, etc. I read the question and the ladies add their input on the answer.

This is really the best time of the meeting. We learn so much from each other. With so many ages, so many different backgrounds and experiences, we gain a wealth of knowledge by just listening to one another. It is very refreshing.IMG_0329-002

The meeting lasts one hour. Then we have tea and our little lunch. Whoever hosts the meeting has an opportunity to use candles, tablecloths and their fine china. My fine china has gone by the wayside but I’m hoping to get more when hubby snags some from an auction! It’s not necessary but adds a sweet, feminine touch.

Sixteen year olds and up can come to the meetings.  A lot of our articles are about marriage but we do not get into graphic detail and it is more about attitudes than anything else.IMG_0319-001

I love to do the “door prize” thing.   I usually purchase small candles, chocolates, hair accessories, etc. I have a friend who makes the  most wonderful soaps and she occasionally donates a couple bars for the prizes. Sometimes, I include my handcrafted jewelry.  As you can see, I have my much coveted “nap-in-a-can” Verve healthy energy drink as one of the prizes, too! We usually have 3 small gifts that we all sign up for and the names are pulled from the basket at the end. It just adds a little fun to the meeting.

Before I finish, I want to give you one testimonial to let you know that God can use you in ways you will not anticipate. Remember Mary Ann, the mother who kept me consistent? She had been coming regularly to the meetings and I mentioned what a God send that was…for me and for her.

It was about 3 years after we began the meetings that MaryAnn lost her dear husband, Mike, very suddenly through a heart attack.

It was such a tragedy and we were all stunned. This vibrant, humorous, fun-loving and faith-filled man had become my son’s father-in-law so it was very close to us.Colin & Z's Wedding Pics 231-001Colin & Z's Wedding Pics 355-001Colin & Z's Wedding Pics 093-001

Many times in our meetings since then (a little over 2 years ago) we have been brought to tears through Mary Ann’s testimony. Mary Ann has said time and again that her last 3 years were the best of her marriage because of what she had gained through our Finer Femininity meetings! Her eyes are moist with gratefulness that she was able to make those years special for her and her husband. God DOES work in mysterious ways!

I really was not very good at it, especially at first, but I kept to the schedule (with the help of Mary Ann) and planned well for the meetings.  I am not a great speaker (though getting better) and so it doesn’t take terrific talent. I usually just read good information.

Don’t wait until you are a great example of the things we talk about at the meeting. I wouldn’t have the meeting if I waited for that.

So, it just takes a willing heart and someone who is open to learning how to overcome obstacles. Sometimes I was neither….haha….see? You can do it!

God will work through the good will of the one running it and the ladies who come. We need this kind of support. We need to feed our hearts and our minds with opposite information than what we are getting “out there.”

Now you are all revved up and you are going to start one of your own, right? I hope you do. Don’t ever underestimate God’s power to use you as His instrument!

A LITTLE RECAP:

1. Read The Purpose of Finer Femininity

2. Say a Prayer

3. Read a couple articles. Discuss them.

4. Question and Answer Time

5. A Last Short Article

6. “Door Prizes”

7. Tea Time!

8. Smiles for the Next Month! :)

 

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Marvel at Your Imperfect Marriage

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My Disclaimer

From Surrendered Wife

The Magic of Gratitude

Before I surrendered, I always remembered to complain when my husband didn’t do something he was supposed to, but I rarely remembered to thank him for what he had done. Naturally, he felt that his efforts were invisible, as though it didn’t matter what he did or how hard he tried.

Today, I’m quick to thank him for big and small things alike, even if I consider them his responsibility, such as taking out the trash, driving us home from a late party, or paying the bills. I used to worry that if I thanked him, he would come to see those jobs as optional. Now I realize that expressing my gratitude just lets him know I notice how hard he works, and that I don’t take it for granted.

He does more chores than ever (even the dishes), and seems happy to do them — all because I say thank you.

Marvel at Your Imperfect Marriage

If you’re feeling like you can’t possibly stand to live with your husband’s snoring, laziness or selfishness one more day, spend some time with a single friend to remind yourself what it’s like to be alone.

First there are the little things: No one to snuggle up with in bed, or help you move the heavy furniture.

Then there are the medium things: Nobody to share dinner with every night, help out with the kids or run out for medicine when you’re sick.

And then the big things: Wondering if you’re unlovable, knowing that you’re the only one you can count on, and always being on the lookout for that special someone. I’m not saying it’s better to be with just anybody, but you aren’t.

You married a man you love and respect, and lucky you — you still get to be with him. Hug him tight when you see him next.

‘Tis Better to Receive Graciously than to Reject Gifts

Years ago a friend of mine told me I had the most beautiful hair, and wanting to seem modest, I responded by saying, “Too bad I never do anything to take care of it!” My friend insisted that it looked great just the way it was, but I shook my head as though she didn’t know what she was talking about.

I’ve noticed lots of women have trouble receiving compliments, and not just because we’re trying to be modest.

It makes us feel vulnerable to hear those tender words and so to draw attention away from the compliment we make a joke or put ourselves down. At times I’ve felt undeserving of kind words. When I reject them, however, I also miss the chance to acknowledge the person who’s complimenting me.

This is especially true with my husband, who sometimes says I’m beautiful when I have bed-hair or mascara under my eyes. No matter how uncomfortable I feel taking it in, now I simply smile, look him in the eye and say, “Thank you.”

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Hot Cross Buns and Easter Alleluias!

IMG_0419IMG_0418IMG_0422IMG_0423Mary Reed Newland gets us in the right spirit of Easter! Such a glorious Feast!! And here is the recipe we used for our Hot Cross Buns this year! They are especially delicious at 2 a.m. after the Vigil! :)   Happy Easter to all!

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The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season

This is, for me, the most beautiful of all the Easter stories.

It should be the very last thing at night, after prayers, for the little ones. Ours have heard it as they lay in their beds.

It is about Mary Magdalene and how she found Him in the garden on Easter morning. She did not really understand. After all He had said about rising on the third day, still she wept and wrung her hands and looked for Him.

Even when she saw the angels, it did not dawn on her. Then – she saw Jesus. Thinking He was a gardener, she heard Him say, “Woman, why art thou weeping? For whom art thou searching?”

And she said, “If it is thou, Sir, that hast carried Him off, tell me where thou hast put Him, and I will take Him away.”

Then that lovely moment. He said simply, “Mary.” And she knew.

How tender, the love that inspired them to record this scene. We know that He appeared to His Mother first. It is an ancient tradition in the Church, and St. Teresa of Avila and many others confirm it.

But for us who are sinners, the scene described so carefully is this meeting with the one who was such a great sinner. It should be a part of every child’s Easter Eve, and often it will make them weep.

But these are fine, good tears, that come because they understand that He loves them.

Alleluia at Last

Easter morning. Alleluia!

The Hallel, greatest of Hebrew expressions of praise, together with Jah, the shortened form of Jahve, God’s name, combine to make this lovely word.

Dom Winzen writes: On the eve of Septuagesima Sunday, the Alleluia was buried. Now it rises out of the tomb…. The Alleluia is the heart of the Opus Dei; the song which the Moses of the New Testament sings together with His People after He has passed through the Red Sea of His Death into the glory of His Resurrection.

The first child awake races downstairs! Quickly they all gather and at last the door to the living room is opened.

There are the marvelous baskets, resplendent with decorations, with gifts, with goodies. Walk carefully. The eggs are hidden everywhere.

All together sing another Alleluia! as the early one lights the Paschal candle.

Then to Mass, to the great joy of Easter Communion. He is in each of us; therefore we are one in Him.

At every Mass, He will be our Paschal Lamb, the perfect sacrifice, the perfect victim, offered everywhere for us, always, until the world comes to an end.

Home to the beautiful breakfast table, the delicious Easter bread, the excitement of the egg hunt, and the opening of gifts.

It has been so long since we have sung Alleluia after Grace. What a glorious morning!

The Paschal candle is lighted. While we rejoice, it burns with a steady flame. It says, “I am risen, and am still with thee, Alleluia!”

 

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Good Friday Prayer – Divine Intimacy

Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year

images“O Christ, Son of God, as I contemplate the great sufferings You endured for us on the Cross, I hear You saying to my soul: ‘It is not in jest that I have loved you!’

These words open my eyes, and I see clearly all that Your love has made You do for me. I see that You suffered during your life and death, O Man-God, suffered because of that profound, ineffable love. No, O Lord, it was not in jest that You loved me, but Your love is perfect and real.

In myself, I see the opposite, for my love is lukewarm and untrue, and this grieves me very much.

O Master, You did not love me in jest; I, a sinner, on the contrary, have never loved You except imperfectly. I have never wanted to hear about the sufferings You endured on the cross, and thus I have served You carelessly and unfaithfully.

Your love, O my God, arouses in me an ardent desire to avoid anything that might offend You, to embrace the grief and contempt that You bore, to keep continually in mind Your Passion and Death, in which our true salvation and our life are found.

O Lord, Master, and Eternal Physician, You freely offer us Your blood as the cure for our souls, and although You paid for it with Your Passion and Death on the Cross, it cost me nothing, save only the willingness to receive it.

When I ask for it, You give it to me immediately and heal all my infirmities.

My God, since you agreed to free me and to heal me on the one condition that I show You, with tears of sorrow, my faults and weaknesses; since, O Lord,  my soul is sick, I bring to you all my sins and misfortunes.

There is no sin, no weakness of soul or mind for which You do not have an adequate remedy, purchased by your death.

All my salvation and joy are in you, O Crucified Christ, and in whatever state I happen to be, I shall never take my  eyes away from Your Cross.” (St. Angela of Foligno)

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Good Friday Activities

The Year & Our Children: Catholic Family Celebrations for Every Season3f3c661740ec49fcc74520e0bc4afb08
For the hours spent at home by those who cannot get to the rites of Good Friday, it is good to plan special activities in order to help all keep a spirit of recollection. With many little children, silence is almost impossible, but as they grow older, they begin to cooperate.

Friends of ours have had their children make the garden of Joseph of Arimathea outdoors, separately, on Good Friday. They used whatever they could find at hand – stones, mosses, sticks, acorns.

(My interjection – We talked about a Resurrection Garden today and here is a Pinterest page with many interesting ideas for one.)

A drawing project will keep Peter occupied. Having said the Stations of the Cross during Lent, he applies himself seriously to illustrating them.

(Another Pinterest page here for the coloring pages.)

Rereading the passages about the Passion will keep another child busy, read out of Scripture or from a favorite life of Christ.

(Here is a good translation for the Passion.)

For a boy who is fidgety and must be active, a solitary chore that is a penance is better: perhaps cleaning the goat stalls or spreading hay and manure from the goose’s pen on the garden.

I know many mothers who, because they must be at home with their babies during this time, save a task that especially tries them.

Each has his or her way of best spending the hours of Good Friday, but it will work out most successfully if the program for the day is well planned.

Perhaps one of the tasks for several of the children can be copying Psalm 21 to be used at night prayers this evening. Our Lord quoted the first line of it from the Cross. It prophesied Christ’s Passion and death and our salvation: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me….”

This was the great prayer of our Lord on the Cross. The family may divide itself and read the lines alternately.

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Heirloom-Quality Rosaries at Meadows of Grace

Untitled-BannerThese are some of the recent rosaries that I have made in my spare (ha!) time! These rosaries are all wire-wrapped which makes them very durable. They are made with brass wire, centers and crucifixes giving them an antiqued/vintage look! For more info go to http://www.meadowsofgrace.com

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Are Your Words Uplifting?

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I love the prayer in the missal, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and a door round about my lips. Incline not my heart to evil words: to make excuses in sins.”

There is also a prayer in the Divine Office, “May He check and restrain our tongue so that it be not an instrument of discord and strife.”

How often have we said words that we regret and omitted those words that should have been said! May we be granted the grace to be prudent and loving in our words.

The following is a wonderful story portraying the “power of a woman’s words.”

The Power of a Woman’s Wordsby Sharon Jayne

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How long do words linger in someone’s heart? How far-reaching are the echoes of a kind word? I believe the impact of a spoken or written word can remain long after our bodies have left this earth.

Marie learned the lasting impact of words from a group of her students. Here is her story:

He was in the first third-grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minnesota. All thirty-four of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million.

Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful. Mark also talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable.

What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!”

I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice-teacher’s mistake. I looked at Mark and said, “If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!”

It wasn’t ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, “Mark is talking again.” I hadn’t asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it.

I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened the drawer, and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark’s desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth.

I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me.

That did it! I started laughing.

The class cheered as I walked back to Mark’s desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister.”

At the end of the year I was asked to teach junior high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite.
Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the “new math,” he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in the third.

One Friday, things just didn’t feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were growing frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another.

I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers.

Charlie smiled. Mark said, “Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend.”

That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” I heard whispered. “I never knew that meant anything to anyone!” “I didn’t know others liked me so much!”

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and with one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked the usual questions about the trip, the weather, my experiences in general. There was a slight lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, “Dad?”

My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. “The Eklunds called last night,” he began.

“Really?” I said. “I haven’t heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is.”

Dad responded quietly. “Mark was killed in Vietnam,” he said. “The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend.”

To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark. I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me.

The church was packed with Mark’s friends. Chuck’s sister sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played “Taps.”

One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin. I was the last one. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who had acted as pallbearer came up to me. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. “Mark talked about you a lot,” he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates headed to Chuck’s farmhouse for lunch. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me.

“We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded, and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.

“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”

Mark’s classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.”

Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.”

“I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.”

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet, and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said without batting an eyelash. “I think we all saved our lists.”

How long will our words echo in the hearts and minds of our children, our husbands, our friends, fellow believers, and the world? For all eternity, my friends. To the end of the age.

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The Four Points of Prayer – A Little Mission Talk

We went to a mission talk last week. It was on prayer and, even though I struggled to stay awake, I actually remembered the four points of prayer that Father talked about! :)

It was a short mission talk ….shorter than any mission talk I have ever attended…(and I still fought to stay awake…yipes!) …yet it touched me and so I thought I would share the four points with you, mixed with a little of my own thoughts.

The first point is confidence. We must pray with confidence!

God is our Father….why do we pray with hesitancy, expecting NOT to have our prayers answered? Confidence pleases Our Lord very much! This was a blessing for me to hear. Most of the time, when I pray, I don’t have the confidence that would be pleasing to Him. So I have revved it up and begun to really EXPECT God to answer my prayers!

I told Vincent about the talk (he was working late, so he couldn’t attend) and we especially talked about the confidence part.

The next evening he told me he went to Mass that morning and prayed WITH MUCH CONFIDENCE for some financial stress to be relieved. By the end of the day he was quite astounded at the way God answered him so quickly!

So….let’s pray knowing that God will answer our prayers! We’re not always sure how, or what His timing will be, but He WILL answer them. Something so basic and yet we seem to forget it, don’t we?

The second point is Urgency.

This really spoke to me.  When we think of something to pray for, let us not put it off and think, well I will include that in our rosary this evening (which is a good thing, too) or I will remember it in my night prayers.

NO! Pray for it that second. Send those little prayers up to God like little shooting darts of loving petitions!

I thought this was awesome as there are SO many things and people to pray for, isn’t there? We can do it the instant we think of it and God listens to each and every one of those prayers! Wonderful!

The third point is Simplicity.

We don’t have to have elaborate prayers. God wants our prayers to be from the heart.

Those little heartfelt prayers of our own are dear to Our Lord.  And those potent and short ejaculations, like…… Jesus I trust in Thee…. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine….Sweet Heart of Mary, be my Love….. Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my Salvation…are very powerful!

The fourth point is perseverance.

Oh my! There are certain things in my life…..loved ones, especially…. that I have been praying about for years. A couple of the situations have not turned out well. Do we get discouraged? Well….yes. Is that right and good? No!

God, in His mercy, answers every prayer. Even though, with human eyes, things don’t look like they have turned out well, or our prayers seem like they have not been answered, we must keep praying.

This was good for me to hear. I know it in my head. I had to hear it again to get it back in my heart.

Confidence, Urgency, Simplicity and Perseverance! So simple, so profound!

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The Palace of Chance – Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.

Andrew Harpe - T's Wedding 364

A MODERN writer describes marriage as "having an 
appointment with happiness in the palace of chance."

Two persons are complete strangers to each other. One day 
they meet. They think they appreciate each other, understand 
each other. They encounter no serious obstacles; their social 
position is just about the same; their financial status similar; 
their health seems sufficient; their parents offer no 
objections; they become engaged. They exchange loving 
commonplaces wherein nothing of the depths of their souls is 
revealed. The days pass; the time comes--it is their wedding 
day.

They are married. In the beginning of their acquaintance, 
they did not know each other at all. They do not know each 
other much better now, or at least, they do not know each 
other intimately. They are bound together; possible mishaps 
matter little to them; they are going to make happiness for 
themselves together. It is a risk they decided to run.

That this procedure is the method followed by many can 
scarcely be denied.

Let us hope that we personally proceed with more prudence.

Upon the essential phases of life together, the engaged 
couple should hold loyal and sincere discussion. And in these 
discussions and exchange of ideas, each one should reveal 
himself as he really is, and let us hope that this revelation is 
one of true richness of soul.

To make a lover of a young man or young woman is not such 
a difficult achievement. But to discover in a young man 
before marriage the possibility, or better still, the assurance 
of a good husband who will become a father of the highest 
type, and in a young woman, the certain promise of the most 
desirable type of wife who has in her the makings of a real 
mother and a worthy educator--that is a masterpiece of 
achievement!

"To love each other before marriage! Gracious, that is simple," 
exclaims a character in a play, "they do not know each other! 
The test will be to love each other when they really do get 
acquainted." And he is not wrong.

In keeping with his thought is the witty answer given by a 
young married man to an old friend who came to visit him.

"I am an old friend of the family," explained the visitor. "I 
knew your wife before you married her."

"And I, unfortunately, did not know her until after I married 
her!"

But even when a man and woman do know each other deeply 
and truly before marriage, how many occasions they will still 
have for mutual forbearance. It is necessary for them to have 
daily association with each other in order to understand each 
other; for the woman, to understand what the masculine 
temperament is; for the man to understand what the feminine 
temperament is. That may seem like a trifling thing; yet it 
goes a long way toward a happy marriage. To understand 
each other not only as being on his part a man and on her 
part a woman, but as being just such a man or just such a 
woman, that is to say, persons who in addition to the general 
characteristics of their species possess particular virtues and 
particular faults as a result of their individual temperaments-
-that requires rare penetration!

A home is not drawn by lot, blindly. A palace of chance! No, 
indeed. If we want to turn it into a palace of happiness as far 
as that is possible here below, we must above all things 
refuse to have anything to do with chance. We must know 
what we are doing and where we are going.

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Man, the Leader

from FW Index

My Disclaimer

MAN, THE LEADER6f4a5257522d5d269931c8e9e9b9b43c

The head or leader of the household is the father. There are scriptural reasons for this. His position is God-given, as stated in Genesis 3:16, “Thy desire shall be unto thy husband and he shall rule over thee”.
Ephesians 5:22-24 states “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Messiah is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husband’s in everything.” (Read that carefully!)
Peter adds, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (behavior) of the wives. (1 Peter 3:1)
Paul goes on to add that ” the older women…should teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, and obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4-5)
There is also a logical reason that men should lead. For an organization to run smoothly, it must have a leader – a CEO, president, captain, supervisor, or director. Since the family is a small organization, or group of people, it, too, needs a leader to maintain law and order.
But why shouldn’t a woman lead? Isn’t she just as capable as a man? It isn’t a question of capability, but suitability. Man’s nature is more decisive, women on the other hand tend to waver. Men have the courage of their convictions, when women tend to vacillate.

Man is also the breadwinner. Men carry a heavy responsibility to provide the living, and the leadership rightfully belongs to them.
There is a great effort to do away with the patriarchical system in this world, and replace it with equality. It may sound like a good idea to have husband and wife share equally in all decisions, but it is not practical or workable, and chaos ensues. There are many decisions that can be reached by mutual consent, but when there is a difference of opinion, the right to make the decision is the man’s.

Rights of the Guide or Leader

To determine family rules: Rules for day to day living need to be established, as in any group. These may be as simple as table manners, or as complicated as conduct and social behavior. A husband may delegate as much of this authority as he likes to his wife, but she still is acting as his steward.
The family is a patriarchy where the father’s word is law, not a democracy where each person has equal say. This is a matter of law and order and following the ways of God.
You may feel you should have more right of say-so over the children since you bore them and are in charge of most of their care. These may be issues where your opinion and your husband’s clash strongly, but in all cases the responsibility is his and you are to willingly submit to his authority.

To make decisions: The father has the right to make final decisions on all matters that pertain to the family unit, his personal life, and his work. Minor decisions as well as major decisions must be made. The final say always belongs to the father.
In marriage, a husband and wife are not like a team of horses, each expected to be able to pull the same weight the same way, but are more like a bow and arrow as in the poem “Hiawatha”, by Longfellow:

As unto the bow the cord is,
So unto man is woman;
Tho’ she bends him, she obeys him;
Tho’ she draws him, yet she follows;
Useless one without the other.

Role of the Wife in Leadership

You have an extremely important role to play in your husband’s role as leader. As stated above, yours is a submissive or supportive role. Submission is not a passive activity, but an active one. It takes effort and concentration to be a good follower. Sometimes your role will be more vocal. As the closest person in his life, your insight may be invaluable. Your support, understanding, and willingness to follow will doubtless be important to him.

Do You Make These Mistakes?20d465e17b4e23fe73bc87b45ca8237c
1. Lead: Do you run the household your way and expect your husband to go along with your decisions? Do you make a show of consulting him, but do things as you please anyway? Do you feel it’s better to do things your way and have them turn out right, than to follow your husband? This shows a direct disregard for his position as leader.
2. Pressure: Do you try to pressure your husband to do things your way? Do you needle and nag? Do you argue and resist his leading because your way seems better? Does he go along with you just to keep peace? Expect your children to imitate this behavior.
3. Scrutinize: Do you pick apart and scrutinize his plans? Are you overly concerned and watchful? Are you quick to approve or disapprove? Do you ask probing questions in a fearful tone? This shows a lack of confidence and trust in him.
4. Advise: Do you offer too many suggestions? Do you tell him what to do and how to do it? Are you always giving him advice? Do you listen to his ideas before interrupting with your own? Do you outline courses of action for him? He may get the idea you don’t need him and can handle everything quite well on your own.
5. Disobey: Do you obey only when you agree with your husband? Do you do things your own way when you disagree? Do you go against his wishes when you feel strongly on a subject? This is the real test of a truly submissive wife.

How to Be the Perfect Follower

1. Honor his position: Have faith in the principle that God placed him in his role. Honor his place and teach your children to do the same.
2. Let go: Give him back the reins. Allow him to lead, and learn to follow. He will surprise you with his ability to get along fine without all your help.
3. Have a girlish trust in him: Don’t be worried about the way things will turn out. Let him do the worrying, while you trust him. This is not to say he will not make mistakes. Realize he is human and allow for mistakes.
4. Be adaptable: Don’t be set in your ways. Be adjustable and bendable. Learn to be happy and make the best of whatever circumstances your husband provides.
5. Be obedient: Obey your husband’s counsel and instructions in his presence and when he is gone. Perfect obedience is cheerful, to the letter, and immediate. Set your goal for quality obedience.
6. Stand together united: This is so important where children are concerned. Even when you disagree, present a united front to the children. Do not side with them against your husband, and do not express dissatisfaction to them.
7. Support his plans and decisions: Sometimes you have to go beyond submission and give active support to your husband. Some decisions are tough, and he may want you to stand with him. You don’t have to agree with the decision to be able to do this, but with his right to make the decision.
8. Assert yourself: The above qualities have all been submissive qualities, but there is another quality of a good follower – that of asserting yourself. There will be times when you will want, no, when you will need to speak out. Make sure when you do you have thought carefully about what you are going to say, pray about it; then go to your husband in confidence. Be sure of yourself.

How To Give Advice

1. Ask leading questions: “Have you thought…” or “Have you considered…”
2. Listen: Open your ears more than your mouth. Speak just enough to keep things going.
3. Express insight: Use expressions like “I feel”, or “I sense”, or “I perceive”. These are feminine qualities he had a hard time arguing with.
4. Don’t appear to know more than him: Don’t appear too wise, or to have all the answers.
5. Don’t be motherly: Don’t regard him as a little boy you must watch out for and shield from the world.
6. Don’t talk man to man: Don’t put yourself on a masculine plane with him. Keep him in the dominant position.
7. Don’t act braver than he: Don’t show more manly courage than he has. Awaken his bravery by expressing confidence in his ability and your own fearfulness..
8. Don’t have unyielding opinions: When giving advice don’t have firm opinions.
9. Don’t insist on your way: Let him take in your advice, but let him make the final decision. Let him take it or leave it as far as you are concerned.

Problems in the Patriarchy

Sometimes a wife fears her husband will fail. This is a risk most of us have to take. In order to make any progress we have to leave our comfort zones, and there is a certain amount of fear involved. If a mistake is made, a man can survive and bounce back if he has his wife’s confidence.
Fear of failure may cause a wife to rebel. This is not an excuse for your disobedience.
There will be times when your husband is floundering. He may find it hard to come to a firm decision. Your full support will often get him over the hump and give him the strength needed to go ahead.
What about the man who won’t lead? You may be willing and able to be a good follower, but lack the leadership. There are some things you can do. First, read to your husband the scriptures that deal with men’s and women’s roles; then offer him your loyal support and subjection.

Rewards

Peace, harmony, less contention, and order are to be found in a home where the husband is clearly revered as the head and leader of the family. While the husband is excelling in his role as leader, the wife can devote her time to her domestic duties and be a resounding success in her home.
Children will have a respect for authority, and have few problems at school, church, and in society. They will learn good ways to pattern their lives and this will result in fewer divorces and happier marriages.Daisy Frame - 2zxDk-EHaU - print

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