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    The List

           Fourteen years. In just a few days my husband and I will bask in springtime Pacific desert beauty as we celebrate our wedding anniversary. And on such an occasion as this, I remember “The List.” For if not for “The List,” our marriage could have ended in a legal battle over who gets to keep the Moroccan mosaic glass light fixtures.              Over a decade ago, I read every book I could find on marriage. I would like to say I’ve got the whole wife thing down. I do OK on most days—all glory to “The List.”          Allow me to rewind. I consider…

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    “Biblical Womanhood”: What is a Woman?

    What a woman is. She is an image-bearer. It was the first day of a class I was teaching on the role of women in the home, church, and society. Driving in to the seminary where I teach, I thought through the material I planned to cover, and honestly I feared that some of what I’d prepared to say was too elementary for graduate-level students. Many of them were raised in church and have heard messages all their lives. Did they really need to hear again that Genesis 1:26–27 teaches that both male and female were made in the image of God? Nevertheless, I determined I’d better make sure. So I…

  • A girl taking a selfieDescription generated with very high confidence
    Heartprints

    Praying for Heroines

      Do you have any special women or girls in your life that have made a difference? Let’s take a moment to focus on our heroines.  Time to give them some prayer support. When I was growing up many women were housewives, stay at home moms. They were somehow lesser than the working women by our cultural standards. There was even a popular song with lyrics like these, “Oh, such are the dreams of the everyday housewife you see everywhere any time of the day; an everyday housewife who gave up the good life for me” The song begins with her looking in the mirror and seeing that time has…

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    Weak and Weaker Vessels

    Having counseled the more vulnerable of the marriage partners, Peter briefly turns his attention to those with more social power—the husbands. He urges them as follows:  “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (3:7, ESV).  In the husbands’ instructions, Peter uses a comparative term to say the wife is the “weaker.” He does not say she is “weak,” but “weaker,” suggesting the husband, though stronger, is also weak. And indeed, females are physically weaker on average than men. They…

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    Who Were the Women with Shaved Heads (1 Cor. 11:5)?

    The past fifty years at Pompeii have uncovered an enormous amount of social data that helps us understand New Testament backgrounds. Because the city was buried relatively instantly in A.D. 79, everything was preserved like a time capsule in the same era in which some of the New Testament was written. Interestingly, one of the places that yields data for us is the brothel. The house of ill repute in Pompeii depicts erotic scenes associated with certain rooms where sexual options appear in paintings with price lists. And this unlikely place actually sheds light on Paul’s meaning in 1 Corinthians 11:5. There he writes, “But any woman who prays or…

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    Movie Review: Moms’ Night Out: A Laugh and a Missed Opportunity

    Moms' Night Out, the movie starring Sarah Drew ("Grey's Anatomy") opened over the weekend, right in time for Mother's Day. And Christians filled theaters to see it. The film is clean, it's funny…and it's also a missed opportunity.  Drew’s character, Allyson, and her two friends — played with expert performances by Logan White and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond)— want just one thing: a peaceful night out eating food off a menu while enjoying uninterrupted adult conversation. But for that to happen the dads have to parent their kids for three hours. And they are incapable of doing so without endangering their offspring. The film is billed as a “true-to-life…

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    Is Peter Insulting Women? (Part I)

    Was the apostle Peter a misogynist? In response to this question one writer said, “99% of people in his culture were—so sure.” If we take Peter’s words at face value, we might think so. In his first epistle he writes some instruction that can trip up the twenty-first-century reader. After telling slaves how to deal with unjust masters, he adds this word to the wives: In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.…

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    Honey Dos Part Two: Advice to Newlywed Wives

    Last post, I gave advice to newlywed husbands; a kind of “cheat-sheet” to avoid pitfalls that some spouses (myself included) have fallen into. I received some great feedback, and a challenge to dedicate a post on giving advice to newlywed wives. Challenge accepted! (A frustrated commenter critiqued my last post by saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that a list of dos and don’ts cannot sum up the complexities of marital love and commitment. I presumed this was a given, so his comment caused me to realize that it’s worth emphasizing that this post is not a do-this-and-your-marriage-will-be-perfect formula, but pithy words of wisdom based on Biblical mores and life experience. It’s…