Guest Posts

Guest Post: Dependence- It’s What’s for Dinner

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Dependence- It’s What’s for Dinner
by Jennifer Buck

It’s not hard to find in Scripture the responsibilities of a wife and mother. We know what it is that we are and are not to be doing. The struggle comes when that which we are to be doing… for example, being the keeper of the home, doesn’t come naturally and we don’t easily find fulfillment in it. Often, those things that we are not to be doing… giving all our energy and attention to things outside of the home at the expense of caring for our home, does come more naturally and seems more fulfilling. What’s a woman to do?

We understand that the Lord created us with our specific talents, abilities, and natural inclinations. We also understand that the Lord created us for a specific task: being our husband’s help-meet and caring for the home are our first priorities. I am not saying a woman cannot work outside of the home, but even in that, she still has a God given sphere of responsibility first and foremost to, and in, the home.

So, why do we not all, as believing women, have natural talent and interest in cooking, child-rearing and helping our husbands? Sin obviously clouds our senses and that must be dealt with, but even beyond that, many women who desire to want those things… just don’t.

God did not create me with a flair for cooking, nor with a desire for all things kitchen related. Even as a kid, I would do the task my mother told me and after finishing the job I would immediately back out of the kitchen with an “OK, job’s done, you don’t need me anymore, right? OK, I’m gone now…” attitude. I hated the kitchen. When I looked forward to marriage, I knew that I would have to prepare meals, but I was content to wait until I had to. And I did. Early on I learned to cook and did what was necessary. My family was not showered with Martha Stewart meals and exotic desserts. We ate, and we ate well, but it didn’t go far beyond that.

Soon, however, that ol’ “I-hate-the-kitchen-and-kinda-resent-that-I-have-to-do-this” attitude crept in. I was a bit jealous of my friends who loved cooking, and kept the house well, and kept their kids doing all kinds of fun stuff, while I’m over here just wanting time to enjoy opportunities to do what I felt was more natural to my talents and desires.

Then one day, it finally hit this thick skull of mine. God has called me to a task. God did not give me the natural talent or desire to do that task to which he has called me. Do you know why? Because He determined for me that this task was to be my area of dependence upon Him. It certainly is only one of many, but this was not an area I would pick for lesson time. But, He picked it for me. It has become my opportunity to depend on God to find joy performing the tasks I dislike. This means as soon as the thought of “What’s for dinner?” hits my brain, right on its heels must be the prayer, “Lord, equip me for what You’ve called me to do, and give me joy in serving my family.” Every. Time. “What’s for dinner?” has become a trigger to prayer for me.

For those of you who approach the kitchen the same way I do, God did not deal us a bad hand. He has not withheld from us a necessary element for finding joy in our role. He did, however, fashion us in such a way that that joy will only be realized by depending on Him. This is actually a very good thing. Not only do we have the opportunity to find a deep appreciation in serving our families, we also learn how to depend on God. That’s the best 2-for-1 sale I can imagine!

So, my dear look-a-likes, don’t begrudge the Lord’s lesson of dependence. For those of you who delight being in the kitchen, you have your own areas of struggle. You have an area to which you are called and it competes with that to which you are drawn. That is your area of dependence. Learn it, and learn it well. You will not regret it, and your family will reap its rewards.

Jennifer and her husband, Tom have been married for 33 years and have 3 children. For the last 15 years they have been serving in Lindale TX, where Tom is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church. Jennifer loves to teach and encourage women in the truths of Scripture.

Sanctification, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ Pursue the Imperishable

Originally Published June 30, 2010

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:3-9, 13-23

Luke 11:12 says that if we ask God for an egg, He won’t give us a scorpion. But sometimes, when I ask God for an egg, He gives me a Denny’s Grand Slam instead.

Such was the case with my Bible study this morning. I asked God to speak to me through His word about something that’s a concern for me right now, thinking He would lead me to one of those comforting passages that says that He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 11:28). I only ordered an egg, but God knew I needed something more filling and nutritious. Something I could chew on for a while. Something that would stick to my ribs.

So He served me up a heaping helping of the first chapter of 1 Peter.

I’ve been asking God to teach me to need Him more. No, not just “need”. NEED!!! And guess what I’ve learned– God delights to answer prayers like that. Guess what else I’ve learned– He doesn’t usually do it by waving a magic wand over your head and instantly making you the way you want to be. He brings circumstances or people into your life that you have to walk through and work through. Along the way, He’s quietly transforming your character to make you more Christ-like. It’s like nuclear physics homework, only not as easy or fun.

(Personally, I would prefer a magic wand. It’s easier, faster, and requires nothing on my part. On the other hand, Cinderella got the magic wand treatment, and where did that get her? She didn’t learn to sew a designer gown, shop for comfortable shoes, or make her own travel arrangements. How could she fend for herself the next time there was a ball? But I digress…)

So, I find myself in this situation where God is teaching me to really NEED Him. I’ve done literally everything I can do on my end. The only thing left is for God to move. And, boy, do I need Him to move. Like, yesterday.

So, I’m praying and praying and praying about this situation and God helped me understand that I’m missing the point. The whole point of this little exercise is not about the end result (the resolution of the situation). That’s temporal. It’s not going to last. The point is what God is teaching me as He walks me through it. That’s imperishable. Eternal.

And so, I pursue the imperishable.

Because I was redeemed –bought back– not with perishable seed (23) or with perishable things like gold or silver (18), but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (19), and until I reach my inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for me (4),

I will forsake lusting after the perishable (14) and pursue obedience and holiness (15-16), which are imperishable.

I will greatly rejoice whenever I am distressed by perishable trials (6), because the proof of my faith –which is imperishable– even proof by fire, is more precious, more valuable than all the perishable gold or material things in this world (7).

Pursue the imperishable things of God. They are more precious than food, shelter, safety, family, money, reputation, things. They are eternal.

Sanctification, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ In Dependence

Originally published November 12, 2010

“Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
1 Kings 3:7-10

Solomon was a little freaked out. God had just given him the huge responsibility of leading the nation of Israel. And King David was a tough act to follow.

“Help, Lord,” he said, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Big, strong Solomon felt the same way we all do when faced with a daunting task– like a scared little kid, clomping around in Daddy’s shoes.

It was, at that moment, that God had him right where He wanted him. Vulnerable. Dependent. Seeking God’s face.

In America, we prize an independent, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, self-made man. God desires exactly the opposite. He wants us to realize that without Him we literally can do nothing. He wants to act for His glory and our good through people who are completely dependent on Him for everything.

And, so, sometimes He leads us to places where we have no other option but to cry out to Him for His help, His strength, His wisdom.

I’m in a place like that right now. My first book will be coming out in less than a year, and I’m learning the ins and outs of the publishing world. Fast. Marketing plans, publicity, sales – all, to one extent or another, my responsibility. Are you kidding me? I’m a homemaker with a degree that’s nowhere near the field of business. My sales experience consists of youth fundraisers and a brief stint as a clerk in an office supply store while I was in college. I am totally out of my element. I’m a little freaked out.

Help, Lord, I have no idea what I’m doing.

I think He’s got me right where He wants me. And it’s a great place to be.