I have been enjoying a webinar entitled “Marrying Well”. The speakers are Geoffrey Botkin, his wife, Victoria and their two sons David and Benjamin, and their wives Nadia and Audrey. The Botkins speak of how they each met and how they got to the marriage alter. They wisely began with telling the listeners not to take all they say without consulting God’s word and mentioned that they are not experts on this topic. Mr Botkin gave an excellent introduction explaining they are not championing their own methodology or selling anything. They go on to say they simply want to take their own experiences and give guidelines to the listeners, but that each family will have to decide for themselves the best way to go about courtship, or whatever each family chooses to call it. I really appreciated how thy spoke about how each situation, with each couple, will be totally different.Mr Botkin spoke at length of how our hearts are not free agents or a separate entity. We must keep our hearts with all diligence! All the Botkins speak very candidly from their hearts and I appreciate their genuine way of sharing their own weaknesses and failings. They definitely don’t come off as prideful or as having “all the answers” What a blessing to hear each one speak. So far I have heard David and his wife Nadia speak about how they met and what they did to ensure they were the right one for the other. I also heard some from Benjamin Botkin. So far I have heard two sessions on this topic. What they have covered thus far is the reasons for marriage, which is very important in choosing the right potential life partner. Marriage is explained as being for the purpose of working together to bring reconciliation of the world to Christ, secondly, to give a picture to the world of Christ and the church. Basically, in summary, the gospel work and gospel image, ar the primary reason and picture of a Godly marriage. The Botkins said how important it is to find someone who shares a common vision and love for Christ. A question each man can ask himself also is this: “Am I willing to give myself up for her?” The young man needs to find a young woman who needs him; not just someone he needs. In praying for his/her potential spouse, can each pray for the others potential spouse in selflessness? That is a true mark of humility. maturity and desiring God’s will, rather than their own. It was interesting how they spoke of how important it is when in a friendship with the opposite sex, and trying to discern whether or not they are the one, that each be able to love the other. Interesting! Loving unconditionally, rather than selfishly is the key! They each need to love the other enough, to protect them from wrong feelings too soon and treat them with respect and honor. They must treat each other as a brother or sister in Christ. Another point the Botkins made, was that if the young man doesn’t have vision now, he won’t necessarily, later. What he is now, he will be later. How mature is he? As parents, we should be teaching our children at a young age how to treat those of the opposite sex, how to think about them and what the proper roles are, before the world or media does! We can be discussing people we have met and what good, or bad, character traits they possessed and why we, or they, thought so. Another good point made was they each need to have a vision much larger than to simply have a partner! Instead they should be desiring someone in which to serve God with. Looks shouldn’t be primary reason for marrying. Looks fade and the inner person is what should draw them to each other. Love for God and His word should be primary. Samson was sited as an example of someone who was lead by his senses and how it destroyed him! Mr Botkin and Nadia also mentioned how a young lady will appreciate being admired or esteemed for who she is in Christ and her Godly attributes more than for her looks! Another way to tell whether one is responsible and mature is are they willing to confess their faults to their parents. Humility should be in place and a desire to do what is right before God. Some of these things seem obvious, and yet, it was so good to hear each one of the Botkins share their own personal experiences and paths and to hear the often needed reminders. They talked also about how each potential mate does not have to be 100% the same in thinking. So often in the Homeschool movement we can set up standard so high and it often isn’t realistic. We are all fallen sinners! Course jesting and joking are out of the question in friendships with the opposite sex. Serious talk about spiritual matters are every important, helpful and needful if you want to know whether someone is right or not for marriage. Conversations should be substantial, serious and personal. All activities done should be in family settings so as to watch interactions with siblings, parents and to guard purity. Another really interesting question they said a man can ask himself when examining whether a certain young lady is a right match is this: He must ask himself if there isn’t someone else who could better take care of the young lady in mind, or is he the best one? Can he love her more than himself and be willing to give up the idea of marrying her if someone else might be the better one? Difficult yes, but a truly mature and selfless attitude. They can ask each other what struggle and weaknesses they have, ask theological questions ,parenting issues and desires, and methods of home education desired. Can the young lady follow and support the young man’s vision? Can he love her and honor her? Can he lead her? There are many potential questions in finding proper compatibility. It is interesting to note that David Botkin prayed for his spouse for twelve years before he met her! He is the oldest in the family, and he married after Benjamin. Benjamin had only been praying for his spouse for three years. Benjamin is the fifth child in the Botkin family, he was 22 when he married and when David married he was 28. God works differently and we all need to be wiling to wait upon God’s perfect timing! There was so much covered and so many things I could go on about. They spoke of potential hard questions to ask the other in the “talking/courtship phase”. What comes most naturally though, the Botkins said, is asking real life questions. Ask questions to do with what each is doing right now, for the Kingdom of God, political thoughts, spiritual goals, scriptures being memorized etc. Are the two better able to serve God together was another important question to ask. Can each find their fulfillment , joy, and hope in Christ, because they will each be marrying fallen human beings! Overall, each must be wiling to do the hard things to make sure this is a match made in heaven and not coming the flesh alone. God leads and directs, as the two in consideration honor Him. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing and learning from the Botkin‘s! God Bless and I hope you find this helpful! Mrs Lydia Hoppman
Where are those who will not only speak of the need for a Godly generation, but those who will do the hard work to train them up? Where are those who really believe what their lips speak, whose lives are a testimony of truly serving and honoring the Word of God. Where are those who will take the time to listen, who care more for the needs of others than their own needs? There is a dearth in the land. This land is drying up for lack of the water of the word, in homes, where small, and older children alike, look for guidance, affirmation, encouragement, blessing, teaching, exhortation, love!! This world in which we live is dangerous, hostile, mean and dark. Our precious children need to know they are loved and that they have a purpose in service to God. Their worth is in HIM not in things, entertainment, pleasure or comforts. Carnal- mindedness will only bring more of a void in their hearts that long for truth and loving direction from those who brought them into this world. They need to know how great is the love of God, and how mighty He is to save and lead them into His good will.
This world is full of half-hearted Christians who live for themselves and this world is lost and dying! We have an opportunity to bring up warriors for Christ. We have the privilege to pour our hearts and time into this next generation, those entrusted into our care, to lead, and suffer for Christ’s sake, to bring change and to make a valid difference in this world for the sake of His glory! To tell others of their need for Christ, and to bring His love to a lost world. What an honor! Why do so many miss the point of our being here? Why do so many walk in compromise, apathy, complacency, and convenience rather than doing those hard things and working strenuously for the cause of Christ??
We have but one life to live and to get this right. We have but one chance to train up Godly men and women who won’t live in fear of man, but rather in Holy fear of God!!! I pray for the hearts of our children to be full of a sense of knowing they are loved and approved, and those who will take the steps of faith in courage and boldness to do those difficult things that may be required of them.
I pray that we can know that they stand upon the rock solid truth and that they have a strong foundation and secure future, because we knelt and prayed for them day and night and because we took the time to teach and lead them. I pray for the hearts of parents, world wide, to seek first the kingdom of God. For those who will love Him with their whole hearts, souls and might! That those same ones might love their neighbor as themselves and be willing to serve the King of Kings! I long to know that my children walk in truth! May we all do what it takes to lead by example, to be humble, teachable and willing, to gently, and firmly train up our children to walk the narrow path and to live the strenuous life for God alone.
To Him be all glory, power and praise. I pray His will be done! Help me to be teachable, God help us all!
This post is such an inspiration to me and I hope to have our entire family memorize this.
“It is wholly impossible to live according to Divine order, and to make a proper application of heavenly principles, as long as the necessary duties which each day brings seem only like a burden grievous to be borne. Not till we are ready to throw our very life’s love into the troublesome little things can we be really faithful in that which is least and faithful also in much. Every day that dawns brings something to do, which can never be done as well again. We should, therefore, try to do it ungrudgingly and cheerfully. It is the Lord’s own work, which He has given us as surely as He gives us daily bread. We should thank Him for it with all our hearts, as much as for any other gift. It was designed to be our life, our happiness. Instead of shirking it or hurrying over it, we should put our whole heart and soul into it.”
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and al His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto thee."Phil. 4:11
This last Saturday I had the privilege of spending time with the ladies of our church family. We had a Titus 2 tea. After fellowship and tea, we all watched Tea With Michelle Dugger. What a tremendous blessing and encouragement to us all!
What I enjoyed about listening to Mrs Dugger was her humilty, sweet spirit, gentleness, and her total dependance upon God. She spoke often of our lives being for the glory of God and not about ourselves! What truth and yet how often do we forget? We are to shine the light of our GOD and KING, not glorify ourselves. It is not about us, but all about HIM! These words resounded throughout the message with Michelle. She also spoke of God's amazing grace being sufficient for us as manager's and keeper's of our homes. We find such strength and comfort in knowing, our strength is made perfect in weakness. He gives us all we need to live each day for Him. We are not able, in our own strength, to do all that is required of us, but by God's grace we can. It is through Him that we can do all things!
We all need to keep God first in our lives and seek His kingdom daily. We live moment by moment depending upon Him to meet our every need. As we seek to do this, we will bear much fruit and shine forth His greatness, and hopefully, draw others unto Him. His gives us His perfect peace, grace, mercy and love to carry out the training of His children and managing of our homes. Our calling is a high calling and no one said it would be easy. BUT through our God, we are able! I can do all things through CHRIST which strengthneth me. Without Him we are nothing! We can stand amazed at His greatness and glory when we realize His goodness and power.
As wives and mother's our job is sometimes difficult. We must find our strength and sufficiency in Him alone. I praise God for people like Michelle Dugger who can remind us that we are all dust without Him and that He is the reaon we live. Her message was so true and sweet. We all can be a gentle teacher and example in our homes. We cannot do it in our own strength, yet by His enabling power we can. Our children are on loan from God and we are to raise and train them for His glory. We are to prepare them to stand firm in the faith and to walk the difficult path of this life with grace and truth. What a joy to sit with fellow wives and mother's, and sister's in Christ, to be reminded of our great calling, responsibility and to be encouraged.
As I realize that I don't deserve one thing that I have recieved from God, I am in awe of Him who has allowed me to be a wife and mother. May we all be on our faces before Him and ask Him to give us the ablity and grace to be the Godly wives and mother's that He deisres. May we pray for one another, exhort, encourage, and be there for one another to meet the needs we may have. By God's good grace we will have the joy of seeing our children flourish and our husbands serving the Lord and doing great exploits for His kingdom, simply because we obeyed, walked in humility and absolute dependance upon our King!
The joy of the Lord is our strength.
We can do all things through Christ which strengthenth us.
"Seek Ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto thee."
Have a wonderful week as you serve and honor Christ in your home!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
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