Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sacred Influence, part 1

Gary Thomas' book Sacred Influence is unique among the Christian marriage books. It was written for women who seek to worship God through their lives and marriage by a man who values women as sisters-in-Christ but who also has an insider's view as to how men desire to be treated. I've read through a number of books (or potions thereof) that attempted to be a how-to on how to motivate husbands to be more loving and spiritual, etc. I was distressed that many (if not most) of the methods prescribed bordered on manipulation. Thomas avoids such tactics altogether and emphasizes that a wife must first examine her own life before she attempts to remove a speck in her husband's eye.

If her marriage is to change for the better, she must let God begin that change in her own life.

Taking the basic premise that marriage is meant to make us holy, not necessarily happy, from his book, Sacred Marriage, Thomas applies it directly to the wife. Not in a harsh, scolding, pulpit-thumping manner. On the contrary. In fact, Thomas' heart was moved for wives who find themselves one-flesh with husbands who are emotionally distant or selfish or condescending or negligent or all of the above. No woman is married to a perfect man, thus, she should never expect him to be perfect. In all of this, Thomas hopes that wives will turn to God to fulfill all of their needs.

Over the following days I will be posting highlights of each of Thomas' chapters. I strongly encourage every woman to obtain a copy of this book so that she might be humbled and empowered in her walk with God, particularly in how she interacts with the one she has chosen to love for the rest of her days.


Chapter 1
The Glory of a Godly Woman
Understanding Who You Are in Christ

definition of self:
  • based on the Fall – “I’m worthy because men like me.”
  • based on your relationship with God – “I’m worthy because I’m made in the image of God, am loved by God, and am regularly empowered by God to make a difference in this world.” (22)

How the Bible views women:
  • Women mirror God’s own character and image
  • Co-regents of the world
  • Included in Christ's genealolgy
  • Praised for recognizing Jesus as Lord while Pharisees and Disciples scoffed
  • Of equal value in the eyes of God
  • Supported Jesus in his most trying moments
  • First to witness the resurrected Christ (22-25)

You need to
  1. understand the glory of being a woman made in God’s image;
  2. experience the strength you have as the recipient of his Holy Spirit;
  3. and find refuge in the worth and purpose you have as his daughter. (26)

God, not your marital status or the condition of your marriage, defines your life. (26)

When Marriage Becomes Idolatry:
In this section, Thomas asks the following questions to point wives away from depending on their husbands to be as God to them.

Who is your refuge?
Deuteronomy 33:27
The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, Destroy.

In whom does your hope lie?
1 Peter 1:21
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.

Where will you find security?
Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Where will you find supreme acceptance that will never fade or falter for all the days of your life?
Isaiah 62:5
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

If you’re trying to find your primary refuge in your husband, if you’ve centered your hope on him, if your security depends on his approval, and if you will do almost anything to gain his acceptance – then you’ve just given to a man what rightfully belongs to God alone. (27)

In addition, how will you ever find the courage to confront someone whose acceptance so determine your sense of well-being that you believe you can’t exist without him? How will you ever take the risk to say what needs to be said if you think your future depends on your husband’s favor toward you? (27)

1 comment:

A-Hawk said...

Hey, just reading these for the first time today... have been too busy to check regularly. Anyway, sounds like a great book and is one I will definitely be adding to my growing list of "read now's"