I Want You to Submit! by Jamie Humphrey

i-want-you-giwy“I WANT YOU TO SUBMIT!” These words give me a mental picture of Uncle Sam with his beady eyes staring at me and pointing his gnarled finger in my face. The word “submit” or “submission” is a loaded word that brings a sigh or maybe even a shudder to women in the Western world. For some women submission is all they know. Submission is a topic that cannot be simplified into a short blog post. But I want to write out some ideas and ask questions for you to respond to. I would love for you to actually email me your thoughts and answers. I will be able to put together all of our thoughts in a later blog.

I looked up the word “submit” in the dictionary.

Submit: verb, accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

The word “submit” is a verb which signifies an action. No one can make you submit to their will. God gave us a free will to have the opportunity to voluntarily submit. God does not force us to obey or to love Him. If someone forces you to do what they want, it is something other than submission. Submission is always voluntary.

After I learned the definition of submit I then went to the Bible to see what it says concerning submission. Oh boy. Here we go (emphasis added is mine…the translation I used is NLT for the Scripture references below).

Job 22:21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.”

Romans 13:1 “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

Also, 1Peter 2:13 “For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority – whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed…”

Ephesians 5:21-22 “Instructions for Christian Households: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”

1Peter 2:18-19 “You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you – not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.”

These are a few of the verses that stuck out to me. The Scriptures are telling us to submit to God, the government, husbands and wives to each other, wives to their husbands as their authority, and to our “masters” aka our bosses. Even if the person in authority is unjust we are supposed to submit. That is really unfair. That makes me mad. We should be able to buck the system if it does not line up with what we believe in and what we think is right. I can totally relate to the frustration that these scriptures create. But what is God getting at with His instruction for submission?

Do you want to know the epitome of submission? Look at the life of our Savior, Jesus. He knew He would be tortured to death. For something He did not do. How UNJUST is that?! How unfair and cruel? In Matthew 26:39 (NLT) it says, “He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” And it says in Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV) “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

Jesus submitted to a temporary suffering for an eternal purpose. What more can I say on the subject?

I would appreciate if you would email me your thoughts on any of the following questions:

  1. What was a time you chose to submit to your authority even though you thought it was unfair and wrong? What was the outcome?
  2. Where do we draw the line in submission? When is it okay not to submit?
  3. To whom is it hard for you to submit to?

SUBMIT your thoughts on SUBMISSION to jamiebhumphrey@gmail.com by 7/1/17.

I cannot wait to hear from you!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie
Jamie Humphrey has been married to Eli for almost 10 years, and together they have two children, Serenity (8) and Justice (6). Every single day Jamie is trying to grow in her relationship with God and with her husband and kids. It is not easy but it is worth it.

Wife – You Are More Than Your Role

Wife – You Are More Than Your Role | By Byron Vardilos

I have the privilege of being married to an amazing woman. I first met Theresa at a coffee shop in Fort Worth, Texas. It was a typical fall night during my Junior year at Texas Christian University. A group of four of my fraternity brothers and I had just finished eating dinner at a local downtown eatery. I was a newer Christian at the time and being part of BYX rooted me in my faith.

Brian, who we called “B-Grow,” announced to the group that he had forgotten he’d promised to meet a girl at a coffee shop and we were over an hour late.  We all piled into a beat-up Chevy Suburban and rushed off to the coffee shop. Little did I know I was about to meet the love of my life!

I’ll never forget the night. I walked in, and there she was. She was beautiful (and sitting at a table by herself reading a Bible!). I don’t remember the conversation, and we only exchanged a few words, but driving home that night was one of the few times in my life I distinctly heard God’s voice. He told me that this was the woman for me!

Byron & Theresa Nov 1998That was over 20 years ago! 20 FULL years of ups-and-downs, success and failures, four kids, two dogs, and over 16 moves!

The first few years of our marriage were rocky, to say the least, but since then, each year we get closer and I learn more about this wonderful woman. With so many things vying for our attention, it’s becoming more and more difficult for wives to keep their identity.

Theresa has had many roles over the years; the role of a wife…the role of mom.  More recently, she is adding many more roles. But the roles do not define who she is.  First and foremost, she is a Daughter of the King!

In the last two years, I’ve witnessed Theresa growing in all areas of her life.  She’s embracing the truth of her identity in Christ. I want to encourage you, the women of The Fathers House, to do the same!  A great resource that talks about this identity is the book, The Secret of Significance, by Robert S McGee.images

With raising four children ages 10-16, running multiple businesses, volunteering and participating in community activities, Theresa and I are at the busiest season of our lives to date. Full schedules blur the bigger picture for all of us.

I’m naturally big-picture thinker.  Theresa is much more detailed, so we complement each other in this way.  Whenever I see her taking on too much or getting caught in the minutia, I remind her to take time off for reflection. I ask her questions like…“What do you want to be doing in 10 years after the kids have left?”  “What is God calling you to do?” and “What is your long-term mission?”

The answers to these questions don’t have to be world-changing, like ending world hunger. But these types of questions have helped Theresa stay focused on what is most important and discover a passion to impact the lives of families and women.

I’ve watched my wife take on these habits and can encourage you to think of some that can help you grow in your identity:

1) Build time each week in your calendar just for you. Theresa is introspective, so once a week, she gets away to the beach or a coffee shop by herself to pray, journal, exercise, and have a time of quiet reflection with the Lord. Find what refuels your tank and make the commitment to do it each week.  If you catch yourself feeling guilty about taking this time to recharge, remember, even Jesus took time away in the “lonely places. Taking care of yourself in this way will bless those you love the most!

2) It’s ok to say “no,” even to good things.  Nothing can tire you out more than feeling obligated to say yes to every opportunity to serve. Having the bigger picture at the forefront has helped her say “no” to things, even good things, that are not part of her bigger mission. This helps her avoid burnout and keeps her focus on what is most important.

3) Know your strengths.  If you haven’t taken a spiritual gifts class, I highly encourage it.  There are also numerous personality tests, including the Myers Briggs and StrengthsFinder.  Learning your natural gifts can help you identify new roles and opportunities you may not have considered before.

4) Know your season. Theresa and I are in, what is affectionately referred to as, “The Long Middle.” But seasons will not last forever. Knowing your season provides perspective which can keep you going, even when you feel like giving up. If you’re in the darkest Winter right now, know that Spring always follows winter!

5) Find mentors; be a mentor. God uses people to grow us up in the faith. The Father’s House and has made it a priority to spend time building relationships. This is a good place to find and/or be a mentor.

6) Work on your schedule as a couple and prioritize. On Sunday night, Theresa and I get together and have a brief meeting to go over our calendar for the next week.  It’s not always perfect, and sometimes messy, but it helps us plan out and make sure that we are spending our time wisely.

7) Plan a weekly date night. Having a weekly date night is a non-negotiable.  It allows us to connect, at a deeper level, and communicates to our kids that our marriage is important.

8) Read inspirational books. Theresa has become a voracious reader.  She also listens to positive podcasts and audiobooks to learn while driving or doing work around the house.

9) Pain is part of the process. Psalm 30 says that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”  The transformative process is not all sunshine and rainbows.  Theresa has encountered many challenges in recent years with all the demands upon her and in building her business.  But I’ve watched the challenges make her stronger!  Like weight training, where you tear muscle fibers to gain strength, the hardships she experiences are building her into a much stronger version of herself.

10) Make wise decisions about health. “I want to work out and eat healthier, but I just don’t have the time.”  We’ve all been there.  I think the biggest revelation for Theresa and I recently is that the time and energy we spend on exercising and making good food choices will come back to us ten-fold in the form of increased energy, health, and clarity of thought.  Don’t feel guilty about taking time to work on your health!

I want to encourage you to take some time this week to seek the Lord and ask him to use you in a new and fresh way.  Then take action and go for what God has put on your heart. Stir up your gifts and trust Him for the great reward!


Byron & Theresa TCU GraduationByron met Theresa over 20 years ago at Texas Christian University where he played baseball and studied business. Married for almost 19 years, they have four children Jacob, 16, Hannah, 14, Caleb, 12, and Abigail, 10.  Over his career, Byron worked as a Business Coach in the Real Estate industry, as well as in sales and entrepreneurship.  He is committed to Christ and helping others live out their full potential. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing piano and guitar, mountain biking, trail running, weightlifting, the ocean, travel, and any sport involving a ball.

Speaking Up For the Voiceless

How Going on The Freedom Challenge Impacted My Life | By Brandi Richardson

IMG_1414Last summer, Brandi Richardson participated in a Freedom Challenge trip to the Grand Tetons National Park starting from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The trip was five days and required Almost 30 miles of climbing with fellow women from The Father’s House while raising more than $525,000 going directly to the fields to aid in fighting human trafficking. Here, she shares more about how God tugged on her heart to go on the trip, her biggest challenges, and the lasting impression the trip has had on her life.

 

How did you hear about the Freedom Challenge?

When I heard about the Freedom Challenge through TFH, it seemed a little crazy to me. Seeing pictures of women on top of mountains huddled together, freezing? Nope, not for me! However, I was interested in the local hikes they were training on, and I wanted to train and encourage the women who had decided to do the Freedom Challenge.

What made you want to sign up?

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 7.30.09 PMI actually didn’t want to sign up at first. I had gone on a mission trip to India in January 2015, and this year, 2016, our family had planned a family vacation, so all funds went to this. We had nothing. I wasn’t sure I could raise the money or take more time off of work as I had just done the trip to India the year before.

After a couple hikes and talking with the women on the trails, I started seeing/feeling that God wanted me to take on this challenge.  He put peace in me that would make this possible for me. On my trip to India, I had seen what The Freedom Challenge funds went to, and now I wanted to be a part of raising more funds to help. I felt God wanted me to complete the circle, so to speak.

What were your biggest challenges?

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 7.29.46 PMThe biggest challenge for me was the hours of training and being away from my family. I loved the physical part of hiking but missed being with them. I’m so blessed to have the support of my husband, allowing me to focus on the physical aspect of hiking and training for the hours I did. I physically challenged my body and mind and accomplished so many things. I learned a lot about what I am able do physically and mentally. I learned how to fuel my body and mind. The months of training allowed me to see the beauty of God’s creation all around me. This calmed my mind and brought a sense of peace to my spirit–to take life in, slow down and enjoy the beauty around me.

What lessons did you learn from going on The Freedom Challenge?

Fundraising and bringing awareness to everyone I came in contact with sparked a fire in me to make a difference in this world. I knew the funds would come in and allow me to take this challenge. I knew I would have to work hard for it, and I did because the fire was burning strong to fight for this cause.

Now, looking back, how did the experience change your perspective?

I’m so glad to have taken this journey. The friendships I’ve made and experiences I’ve had is something that I will cherish for years to come. I’m glad I listened to God and did what He called me to do. We are His hands and feet. He asked me to speak up for the voiceless, so I did and will continue to do so.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

IMG_1413California native Brandi Richardson has been attending The Father’s House almost 11 years. She’s been married to Steve for almost 15 years and has two sons (Tyler, 21, and Zakary, 12). She works as a patient care coordinator for a home oxygen and respiratory company and as a massage therapist. She’s lived in Illinois and Germany and currently lives in Escondido, California.

I Can’t Do All Things! By Bethany Luchetta

What is this all about? The Bible reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and I’ve heard the sermon! AND you bet I’ve heard my friends quote it during prayer or rehearse it as a statement of faith. So, now what? Why can’t I do all things? Why? The question plagues not only the faithfully abiding Jesus follower, but even our agnostic and atheist friends (and probably all humankind, now that I think about it). Honestly, it pushes me further from Him than I wish to be.

I sit abidingly in Sunday service. I go to small group, trying to pull together thoughtful conversation that doesn’t let-on that I am questioning God’s sovereignty. I have even worked for a church and kept this thought tucked away just behind the surface. I am asking this question right now! If I hear one more person say, “Bethany, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you,” I may overflow with some unbecoming sentiments in the direction of their face. I am 5’7” and I will never be able to jump like Michael Jordan. Hands down. Never! I will never be able to grab that hot pan without pain. Never.

image1Take, for example, the context of this scripture. Paul was writing his friends in Philippi. He says in Philippians 4:12 that he knows how to live simply or in prosperity, having a full stomach or being hungry, having plenty or suffering. Following this example, he states in Verse 13, “I can do it all through Christ who strengthens me,” followed with Verse 14 in which he thanks his friends at Philippi for sending him help.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary expands as follows: “We have need of strength from Christ, to enable us to perform not only those duties which are purely Christian, but even those which are the fruit of moral virtue. We need His strength to teach us to be content in every condition. In addition, the Word in the original is a participle of the present tense, en to endynamounti me Christo, and denotes a present and continued act; as if he had said, ‘Through Christ, who is strengthening me, and does continually strengthen me; it is by His constant and renewed strength I am enabled to act in every thing; I wholly depend upon him for all my spiritual power.’”

So, why is this used carte blanche for ‘doing things’? I would like to propose this as a great injustice to God when we use this verse out of context. It creates so many unanswered WHY’s. Is God’s Word true? Is my faith lacking? Am I in some sort of sin? Why is this verse not coming true for me? Instead, let’s ask ourselves, why are we not coming to truth about this verse?

This is ruffling some of you. Don’t worry–I am arguing the same thing and grasping at straws.

IMG_6608But Bethany, what about Matthew 18:19, where Jesus says, “Ask anything in My name, and it will be done”? Jesus says it in RED letters, Bethany! Yes, he does. But perhaps, may I offer, yet again, a deeper spiritual truth than trying to ‘do things’? Jesus was setting up the plan for His Bride. These scriptures are instructions for church communities on dealings with people (in their group) who may be failing. Jesus is expressing His sweet heart to help bring us ‘failing-folk’ back into community. How sweet is that!

One more! Matthew 6:33 says, “All these things will be added unto you.” All these sweet things can be mine?! I won’t have to struggle or strive or trial. Hmmm … yep, you guessed it–again, another “WHY?” Why, God, don’t I have all these beautiful things? I wanted that house. I wanted THAT job. I wanted that man. I wanted that car. I wanted … fill in the blank. Well, let’s break it down one more time. Jesus is teaching ‘how not to worry.’ It’s an ole-time-self-help book. Really. Instead of using this verse for getting all the things I want to help me not to worry, Jesus is actually saying, “Just don’t worry about it?!’ In the rest of this chapter, Jesus teaches on “God and riches,” “treasures in Heaven,” “how to fast humbly,” “how to pray,” and “how to please God.” Wow. None of this chapter leads up to getting everything.  

So, why do we drop these one-liners (usually half sentences) out of context, trying to encourage ourselves or someone else?

I am currently re-programing my knowledge of scripture and the heart of Jesus. I have yelled at God, “WHY?” If you’re like me, part of your problem might be poor teaching. Some toxic spiritual communities use scripture like magic potions. Our job is to unwind these mis-truths (Romans 12:2). Instead of asking, “Why aren’t the promises working for me?” The realities of His promises need to be re-taught.

Jesus is NOT a sweet marketing plan to proselytize to your friends on how goodness and greatness will come in 24-48 hours. Selling Jesus short will only bring more frustrated “why” questions and more hardened hearts. I exhort you to challenge your Spirit; search out the deeper Truth in the Word which will undoubtedly help build a solid life and a mature faith. The Truth of the Word won’t fall on empty promises. It’s just like the great deceiver to use pieces of Truth to make us question God’s sovereign nature. God does have plans for you! HOW the plans develop,and come to fruition,will probably be different than you expect, but nonetheless, this is indeed Truth. God won’t perform magic in your life. He will, however, never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13), which is far better than any other religion or friend or mate can offer!


 

IMG_6618Bethany Luchetta is married to her love, Vince. She mothers her growing toddler and two beautiful girls from Vince’s first marriage. Bethany runs her own Property Management and Real Estate Brokerages. The love of personal growth and theology pushed her to explore her deeper calling. Attending Dr Henry Cloud and John Townsend year-long Life Coaching Program in 2013, she was inspired to plan for her future career in Theology and Family Therapy at Bethel Seminary. Bethany is preparing for her revocation through Life Skills International, a 32-week personal growth course in San Diego.

Identity

As a perfectionist, I feel most satisfied at the end of the day when I feel like I did everything right. The day doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect, but as long as I do what I think is good in any given circumstance, I am happy and can sleep peacefully. In fact, at times, my desire to do what I feel is right has kept me from actually doing what is most important. I strive in my flesh to achieve greatness as a mother, wife, and as an individual, and that, at times, is the very thing that keeps me from achieving greatness in God’s eyes. God has been trying to teach me this my whole life… but now that I am a wife and mother, to me, my flaws have become 100% more evident.

Being a wife and mother to two (after only being married for three years) is really hard! I absolutely love it, but it is the most difficult thing I have ever done. My flesh has to die multiple times every day. I see, more and more, how deeply flawed I am… I cannot escape my flaws. They are there and love to flaunt how imperfect I am. I fail daily and it absolutely kills me.

If I respond impatiently with my son, I failed that day and am the worst mother in the world. If I am gracious and patient, my heart is happy and I feel like a “good” mother. If I maintain a clean house and I do everything I need to have an organized and neat home, then by the end of the day I will allow myself to rest. If not, I most likely will not be able to sleep until absolutely everything is clean and tidy. Sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it? If I eat one cookie then I absolutely failed and I might as well just eat ALL of them, because I already failed by eating that one and I will just restart tomorrow. Wow! Am I crazy, or what?! This has been my life. It is exhausting and makes me feel like I am going crazy. I can never seem to be “good enough.”

I greatly desire to be a woman of excellence, and this desire has the ability to make me act in ways that I don’t consider to be “excellent.” This creates a real frustration and disappointment in me. Recently I was sharing this struggle with my husband, and he responded to my dismay by saying,

“You should pursue discovering who you are, rather than how good you are.”

Those simple words really helped to open my eyes and helped me shift the way I think about my values. I am flawed indeed, but I am learning that when I strive for perfection in my own strength, I don’t get the results that I am looking for. I may be able to obtain the “perfect” body, but is it really beautiful if I do so by hating the body I currently have? I may be able to have several days where I don’t lash out at my children or husband, but if I do so from a heart motivated by self-hatred and the need to be “perfect” all of the time, is it truly beautiful? I may be able to maintain the cleanest, neatest house, but if I do so from a place of stress and anxiety, is it really beautiful? No. It is not.

I believe one of the greatest tricks of the enemy is to waste time. This is why the enemy tries so hard to get us to be religious. If he can sink our minds into habit, he will prevent our hearts from engaging God. I am tired of living that way. I am tired of the empty striving, and I don’t want to waste any more time. I want my life to be TRULY beautiful. TRULY meaningful.

image3So now, my goal isn’t just to do everything right, but to do everything from a place in my heart that reflects the person who God created me to be. My body may not be perfect, but my heart is happy and thankful for the body I was blessed with. I may not be the perfect mother, wife, daughter, friend, or woman, but I no longer have to live in a place of self-hatred over my faults. Instead, I can move forward by God’s grace and God’s love for me and GROW in it. I may not have the neatest house, but that’s ok. I can look at the mess and still take time to love on my family or friends without being anxious about it. And you know the best part? I am falling deeper in love with the Lord. With life. With my children and husband. I am finding joy where I never have before. My heart and mind are experiencing sweet rest and peace as I live in the truth instead of striving for perfection. We were never created to be perfect. We were created to be loved. 
God is good. God is perfect. And out of love He sent His Son (because He knew I couldn’t be perfect), to save me so that I don’t have to strive for perfection on my own. That’s a lot to be thankful for.


About the Author

image1My name is Abigail Smith. I am a wife to Landon Smith and a mother to two precious little boys, Elias (2 years old) and Josiah (6 months old). My days and greatest joys consist of running on coffee, surviving on Jesus, and running after my incredibly hyper and active (did I say hyper?) 2 year old while figuring out how to carry my baby at the same time. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures/meeting new people, walks with my family, reading, and running. I have experienced the transformational power of God’s grace and love and am passionate about seeing other women experience the freedom that walking in His truth brings.