About me: I am a wife as well as a mother of four children, ages one to ten. I have been married for fifteen years and have experienced a transformation in my life and marriage since I surrendered my heart to Christ ten years ago. Two and a half years ago God called me to write a book titled: YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children. It is in the process of being published and should be out by September 2011.
I am starting a video series on marriage on my website (www.amandabeth.net). The series is about learning what our responsibilities are in our marriages and what God’s responsibilities are in our marriages.
I am also the author of a blog titled, “Sharing the Truths Behind the TRUTH” (www.sharingtruths.com). I blog every Monday, sharing the reasons and benefits behind the truths in God’s Word.
This is a sample from my blog (www.sharingtruths.com). It’s one of seven from my armor of God series:
Belt of Truth
The armor of God isn’t something we have to strive to obtain. It’s already been given to us through Christ. We need to understand what it is, why we need it, and how to put it on.
Ephesians 6:10-17 explains what the armor of God is and why we need it:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
We need God’s armor to stand against Satan and his spiritual forces coming against us. We can’t stand against Satan’s schemes on our own. As these verses say, our struggles aren’t against people. We are not in a battle against one another, even though it often appears that way. Our real battle is against Satan and his forces. They are the ones behind the scenes trying to take us down. We need God’s armor to help us stand against their attacks.
The first armor explained is the belt of Truth. In the Bible days men wore robes. When they fought they would secure their robes with a belt to avoid getting entangled. In the same way, we need to wear the belt of Truth to avoid getting entangled in Satan’s lies.
We won’t be able to stand against Satan’s deception without first believing ALL God’s Words are true. Many Christians would say they believe the Bible is true. But if you mention verses that stretch their faith, like Mark 16:17-18, they don’t believe it applies today.
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
I may not understand everything about healing, speaking in tongues, or driving out demons. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe these verses are true. I don’t have to understand everything about the Bible to believe everything in there.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This says if we hold to His teachings, then we will know the Truth. As we believe it, we will start walking in it, and then we’ll gain an understanding of the Truth as we see it manifest in our lives.
…for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge….
To fear the Lord means to live in reverence to Him. We won’t live in reverence to God if we don’t believe Him. Faith comes first, then sight.
If we don’t stand for God’s Truth, we'll open the door to deception. We see this widespread in the body of Christ today. So many Christians aren’t standing for the Truth. It’s amazing how many lies the enemy has sown in the body of Christ.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
—2 Timothy 4:3
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves… having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
—2 Timothy 3:1-7
I had a Christian editor edit my book last year. This editor took out any scripture and teaching that was “uncomfortable.” I put everything back according to the Word of God. I will not accept what anyone says over what God says.
I didn’t get where I am today by listening to what I wanted to hear. I listened to what I needed to hear. Everything in God’s Word isn’t warm and fuzzy. Most of it's uncomfortable and hard to bear. But it’s what we need if we want to stand against the enemy’s deception and live in victory.
John 6:60-64 tells us that many of Jesus’ disciples turned back and no longer followed Him because His teachings were hard.
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”
We are nothing in our flesh. We can’t stand against Satan’s attacks on our own. We need spiritual armor to stand against him.
We have only two choices in life. We either believe God’s Word and put on His armor, or we believe Satan’s lies and allow him to take us captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). There is no in between.
I strongly encourage you to stand for the Truth. Make sure what you learn from others is the Truth. We need to always check what we learn and make sure it's according to the Word of God. Otherwise, we open the door to Satan’s deception.
And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
—Acts 17:11 NLT
We will always stand against the enemy when we hold to the Word of God as Truth.
This is a summary of my book and a sample chapter:
YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY
Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children
YOU can’t perfect your family.
Amanda Beth can’t perfect your family.
NO ONE can perfect your family.
But there is hope…GOD CAN!
Join Amanda on her journey to find contentment. She takes you through her personal testimony and reveals the steps God taught her that freed her from insecurity, strife, distrust, resentment, and chaos in her marriage.
She shares with you how to enjoy your family while waiting on God to restore, transform, and perfect you, your marriage, and your children. This book is a guide to a total FAMILY makeover.
As a mom of four children ages one to ten, Amanda understands the struggles of raising a family today. She shares her own struggles along with testimonies and needs of real families. And she helps you apply true Biblical solutions to the problems that marriages and families face today.
God only needs ONE willing heart to change a whole family. Let that heart be yours!
The LORD will perfect that which concerns me: your mercy, O LORD, endures forever: forsake not the works of your own hands.
WHAT MEN NEED
Love is a need everyone values most. But, as Romans 12:9 explains, love must be sincere. Everything we do for our spouses has to come from unconditional love, because many days we won’t feel like meeting their needs. Love is the root from which all other actions need to stem. You can’t go through the motions without your motive being love. Otherwise, it will not last.
My husband can tell when I am doing something for him out of obligation instead of love. I can tell as well, because I don’t feel fulfilled meeting that need; I feel resentful. When I choose to meet his needs out of love, I start to desire to meet more of his needs. There is a big difference.
When you live for others out of unconditional love, you will be fulfilled and satisfied. But when you do things for others out of obligation and expectation, you will feel resentment because not everyone will treat you the way you want them to. Jesus told us the second most important command, next to loving God, is to love others. Everything has to come out of love to be sincere.
Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere….
—1 John 3:18, GW
True love is not based on feelings. True love is based on knowing God unconditionally loves us and He is able to supply all our needs. God meeting my needs means that my satisfaction and expectations are in Him alone, not in what people do or don’t do for me.
When my husband doesn’t meet my needs, I can still find fulfillment knowing God loves me and meets my needs (Philippians 4:19). I can pray and trust God to work in my husband’s heart to meet my needs. But if my husband doesn’t meet my needs, I can still feel satisfied knowing God cares about my needs. Then I can focus on meeting my husband’s needs freely without demanding anything in return.
This doesn’t mean it’s easy to meet my husband’s needs. Some days it’s hard to love my husband unconditionally, especially when I am feeling neglected by him. When I have a need my husband isn’t meeting, I go out of my way and do something nice for him. This helps take my mind off me and lifts me out of self-pity.
John 15:13 says that greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life (his own needs) for his friends (for others). How strong would marriages and families be today if we all loved the way Jesus loves us? So when our spouses want us to love them, this is the kind of love they need.
When I focus on meeting my husband’s needs, I see God working in his heart, giving him the desire to meet my needs. For instance, I was sitting at the dinner table with my husband recently when I thought, “I wish he would thank me for dinner.”
My husband normally doesn’t say anything about the dinners I cook. I wasn’t mad at him and didn’t say anything, but it was one of those days when I was feeling unappreciated. I am not a good cook, so I laughed to myself thinking, “I probably wouldn’t compliment my cooking either.” Therefore I brushed it off.
Well, the next day at dinner, which was nothing special, the same typical meal, my husband thanked me for dinner and told me he appreciated me. I was shocked! I had never mentioned it to anyone. How could he have known except from God?
God is amazing! He cares about all our needs, even something as small as a “Thank you” when we need it. I could’ve gotten mad and dwelt on how unappreciated I was, and wallowed in self-pity. If I had, it would’ve caused me to be rude to my husband. That wouldn’t have solved anything. It would have only pushed him away.
When we respond that way, it gets us nowhere because we still won’t get our needs met. But then we’ll also have to deal with the anger raging in us. God was working in me in that situation to believe the best and trust Him by keeping a good attitude.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
—1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We can always check to see if our actions are motivated by love because these will be the fruit of our actions. When we are motivated by love, we will not be angry, rude, or resentful.
As I was studying love one day, I kept thinking about how 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love…always protects.” I asked God what it meant to protect someone. I felt Him tell me it meant to protect all that concerns a person. God showed me when I talked bad about someone I wasn’t protecting them, because I wasn’t protecting their reputation. Likewise, if someone is gossiping about another to me, it’s my responsibility to protect them, by protecting their reputation. I need to stand up for them in their defense.
Many couples bash their spouses to others. They proudly share their spouses’ flaws and mistakes. We need to protect our spouses’ reputations and build them up to others. Wouldn’t we want them to do the same for us?
I know a girl who praises her husband to others no matter what. She always has something good to say even though he is not perfect. Our relationships will be stronger if we live our lives protecting people’s reputations, and building others up instead of tearing them down. People will know they can trust us. They’ll more likely speak well of us and protect our reputations.
Our husbands need to see that we respect them and are proud of them. Ephesians 5:33 says that a husband must love his wife as he loves himself. And the wife must respect her husband. My husband and I attended a Bible study on this verse. I have heard women misinterpret this verse and become defensive and say, “Well a man should respect his wife too.”
We learned through this study that men and women see things differently. For instance, when I build my husband up, by letting him know how much I appreciate him for being our provider, I am showing him respect, which he views as me showing love toward him.
This is how men want women to show their love to them, by respecting them. I, however, see him showing love toward me in more physical ways, like going out of his way to romance me, helping me with the housework, and helping me take care of our kids. His acts of love show me that he respects me. We are both showing love and respect, but in different ways.
One woman explained how she shows her husband respect, “I try to make sure he knows that I appreciate all that he does to take care of me, not just monetarily, but with the remodeling of our home and even car repairs.”
Just a little “I appreciate all that you do” is what our husbands need and want. It will motivate them to be better providers, better fathers, and better husbands if they have us as their cheerleaders. Showing appreciation and building them up with affirmation will make our husbands want to do more for us.
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
When we build our husbands up, we are using wisdom. But we are foolish to ourselves, and our families, when we tear our husbands down. Even if my husband doesn’t do everything the way I think he should, I can still find ways to encourage him in his weaknesses and magnify his strengths. I can show him proper respect so he can strive to be all that God called him to be.
For instance, while I was thirty-seven weeks pregnant with our fourth child, I was laid up and my husband was left to handle everything. As I was telling him to do this and that, and do it this way and that way, I stopped myself. I realized even if he didn’t do everything the way I wanted him to, at least he was making an effort.
So instead I told him how much I appreciated him and let him handle the kids and the house the way he wanted to. Even as my toddler walked into my bedroom with his pants soaked, telling me he wet on the porch, I had to smile and trust that my husband was trying his best.
We need to work with our husbands instead of expecting them to do everything the way we do it. We especially need to respect them in front of our children. If we don’t respect our husbands, our children won’t respect them.
We also need to respect our husbands because it reflects on them. I read an article on how men want respect because it affects how they see themselves. Men place a lot of weight on their wives’ opinion. Many men say they want to know they’re making their wives happy.
My husband tells me, if I’m happy, he’s happy. If I’m not happy, he holds it against himself. He feels responsible as a husband to make sure he’s doing his best to make me happy. We shouldn’t take advantage of that and put the impossible burden on our husbands to make us happy. We should be easier on them and believe in them even when they mess up. Our husbands want to feel like they are everything to us. They want to know we love them despite their faults.
We also show respect to our husbands by supporting them. We should stand by each other supporting and encouraging one another. When there is a decision to be made, and my husband is firm on what he believes is the right decision, I need to support him, even if I don’t agree.
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
A lot of women take this verse offensively. We already know the Bible is a guide for our own good. Therefore, if we look at this as being for our own good, we can see that controlling everything will only push our husbands away. When we tell our husbands, “I trust you are making the right decision based on what you have in your heart. I am standing beside you on this. Even if it ends up being the wrong decision, we can work it out together.”
This is what a husband and wife are supposed to do, come together as a team. One woman said, “The secret to a happy marriage is to be respectfully married together, side by side, one flesh, helping one another meet life’s challenges.”
There are many times when I feel strongly about something and my husband does go with what I want. I believe this is because he knows I will go with his decision when he feels strongly. It helps him trust my decisions because he knows I am not trying to push for my way. We are not on opposite teams. We are on the same team with the same goals. This verse is meant to bring unity, not division.
When we were building our house, my husband had an idea how he wanted the outside to look with the right colors and material that would fit well together. I, of course, had a different idea. After discussing our ideas, my husband was still set on his idea. He kept telling me to trust him because he was sure I would love it. I did trust him and thank God, because six years later I am still in love with my house. Often when I pull in the driveway, I look at it and am thankful for it.
My husband’s way may not always end up being the right way. But truly supporting someone is supporting them even when they make mistakes. Don’t rub their faces in their mistakes, with an “I told you so” attitude. Instead, encourage them not to make the same mistakes again. This is Biblical submission.
Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Knowing that you could have your way, but you choose to obey God, is true submission. When we do that we are submitting to Christ.
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