Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday's Child

Source for this image here.

Do you know this sweet rhyme?

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace
Wednesday's child is full of woe
Thursday's child has far to go
Friday's child is loving and giving
Saturday's child works hard for its living
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day, is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Of course, it doesn't really have anything to do with how our children turn out - although Cubby, who was born on a Saturday, is indeed a hard worker, and Papa Bear is the most "loving and giving" person that I know!  But Little Bear is hardly ever gloomy - she's not "full of woe" at all, and I don't think I'm very graceful!

But it's interesting to see how we can mould ourselves into the images that other people create for us.  Once we earn a reputation for being miserable, or hard working, or generous, we can unconsciously find ourselves measuring up to this interpretation of our natures, even when it is not so.  However, it is possible for us to change!  That's what I am hoping to do, this month, as I study the latest 30 day challenge that I'm going to be working on - the True Woman makeover!

Today is the first of October, so it is also the first day of the challenge, and if you click on the link above, it will take you to the first post on the Revive Our Hearts blog, for this challenge.  Today's post is an introduction to the themes of the challenge, and it looks at the way women are portrayed in the Bible.  You can listen to a radio podcast, or read a transcript of this, to give you more guidance.  For me, one of the best portrayals of God's plan for us women can be found in Proverbs 31.  But there are many others - starting with Eve in the Book of Genesis, and taking us through to Rebekah, Miriam, Deborah and Ruth, and then on into the New Testament, where of course we are introduced to Jesus's earthy mother, Mary, and others besides.  We are also taught much about what God's will is for us as women in the New Testament, through the letters of Paul, which reflect the natural order that God created.  As we read through the Bible, we can see that women display a huge breadth of characteristics, qualities and skills - God certainly didn't design us all to be the same!  But one thing we can all be sure of is that no matter where we find ourselves today - whether as mature Christians, or just starting out, there is much to inspire us in the Bible's teaching about the roles of women, and about the importance of our influence on those around us - especially, of course, our families.

I'm looking forwards to working through this month's challenge.  I think it may be quite difficult at times, because it will be encouraging me to step beyond the mould that I have made for myself - but, as I say above, maybe that mould is one that's been defined not by who I really am, but by what society at large thinks I should be - and that's something I want to step away from.  As a Christian wife and mother, my concern is primarily to please God - not the world.  And as God's plan and will for me, is to be different - to unmould myself from the influence of the secular world, then that is what I must try to do.  As the hymn I shared yesterday invites us, I must let my light shine - the light of God's love - a beacon in this world of darkness.  I hope my experience will be a positive one - and I'll be sharing it as we work through the month, so maybe other readers can be inspired by it too.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety" (1 Timothy 2: 1 - 15).

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