Tuesday May 4, 2010

I finished reading Womanly Dominion during my infusion today, and wanted to share some bits with you all.

The Lord bless you!

Excerpts from Womanly Dominion: More Than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit

By Mark Chanski

The false stereotype of a Christian woman being a helpless and frail mouse, who passively shades herself under the parasol of her soft femininity, and adoringly waits for her husband to do all the heavy lifting, is shattered by the Scriptures. (p 13)

[H]er jewelry is not only the necklace of “a gentle and quiet spirit,” but also the bracelets of “strength and dignity.” (p 13)

Men and women alike” are both called to subdue and rule in the various spheres of their lives. (p 15)

It’s absolutely and wonderfully true that women are rightly designated in the Bible the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7) who are to display a “gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4). But such soft and tender qualities do not tell the whole story. There’s much more to the challenging mission assigned to the godly woman by her Maker, Redeemer, and Lord. (p 15)

Womanly dominion is a blessed virtue, as urgently needed in our day as manly dominion. (p 21)

Godly women, made in the image of God, must repeatedly remind themselves, “Play your position!” They must loyally resolve to stay at their God-assigned posts, to the glory of God, despite the shouts from the misguided cultural sidelines. (p 22)

[E]very image-bearing man and woman is obligated to imitate his/her Maker in his own miniature world. Each is assigned a lifelong plot of wild earth that he/she is to stake out, cut down, plow up, plant, and harvest. We must aggressively subdue, and not passively loiter. (p 29)

[A] woman is to dominate aggressively her environment, rather than allow her environment to dominate her. (p 31)

Children are introduced not merely as a preferential option but as a holy obligation. (p 32)

Fruitfulness varies in its manifestation among different plants. A fruitful grape-vine will sport many, many clusters of grapes. On the other hand, a productive pumpkin vine may only generate four or five pumpkins. A farmer is very thankful if a single cornstalk produces two ears! Fruitfulness will vary from womb to womb, family to family. Revelation, providence, liberty and wisdom must be conscientiously blended. (p 32)

God’s procreation mandate assigns to man and woman the sacred obligation to make the earth swarm and teem with image-bearing creatures. (p 33)

God’s fetching glory for Himself is the chief purpose for mankind and womankind. (p 33)

What is the mightiest strategy for influencing the world unto God-glorifying good? It was unveiled in the Garden of Eden. “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it.” Women of dominion who give their lives to the bearing and nurturing of God-fearing offspring are the power brokers of the earth. The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world! (p 37)

Procreation summons a woman to an extraordinarily God-glorifying enterprise; and godly women of dominion have a peculiar eye toward it. How can she effectively subdue and rule the earth? She can best accomplish it by taking seriously her creation mandate. (p 38)

For a woman who rejects the mind of the world and puts on the mind of Christ, it is counted a great honor to follow in the submissive footsteps of the servant-hearted Son of God. (p 40)

Sure, [women of dominion] will encounter pain and thorns and thistles in the process. Sure, they’ll need to exercise Herculean discipline and self-denial. But the wonderful final-day revelation will leave them with no regrets. (p 47)

[L]adies, consider yourselves warned. The Liar takes a special pleasure in whispering into your pretty ears. You are darling targets for his dart-like wiles. (p 48)

[The enemy] detests a woman on a mission, subduing and ruling her life to the glory of god with a dominion mindset. Such mighty women are a great threat to his dark kingdom. So he continuously slithers across your path, and with subtlety, persuades you to reject your positional loyalty and your win-it tenacity. (p 49)

Women of dominion trample serpents under their feet (Psalm 91:13). (p 52)

Consider the excellent wife of Proverbs 31. Her most striking trait is the fact that she is so utterly selfless. (Proverbs 31:12, 13, 14, 15, 27)… And what does such selfless, servant-hearted, help-meeting get her? Is she oppressed and abused? To the contrary, her husband is crazy about her! He’s convinced she’s one in a million, …worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her.” And he tells her so: “Her husband…praises her…” (31:28). He brags about her to his friends… His children honor and praise her… (p 55)

Stay-at-home mothers may be underpaid, but they’re certainly not underchallenged! (p 59)

Peter does highlight a specific strength in Sarah, namely, her subduing and ruling over her fears. This is a fundamental battle for any woman. Panic attacks are a common affliction in stressful times. Sarah is a heroine worthy of imitation, for instead of fretting and surrendering, she managed to “hope in God” and “do what is right without being frightened by fear.” (p 64)

What fearful heart piercings loving mothers must endure! They pour their hearts into their children. Then they must helplessly watch, sometimes from tear-drenched pillows, their darlings run the gauntlet of a wicked and cruel world. Godly mothering isn’t for cowards! The same is true for godly wifing. (p 65)

Fear is the most strangling emotion known to man or woman. (p 73)

We must be men and women of dominion, boldly making decisions on the basis of our duty, obligation, and opportunity, not on the basis of our fears and insecurities. (p 74)

There’s a time for a woman to resignedly sit back and wait for the Lord to change her husband’s mind. And there’s a time for a woman to assertively rise up and take matters into her own hands. Abigail knew how to tell time. (p 77)

Abigail also knew how to remain sweet. A besetting sin of many women is sharp-tongued argumentativeness. (p 77)

Furthermore, understand that it’s not only Nabals who need Abigails. Davids need them, too. Men “after God’s own heart” often need their women to step in front of them when they’re charging down a mountainside to do something they may later regret. (p 78)

Faithful and loving counsel is a stock element of a God-honoring marriage. An Abigail-like wife is woman enough to deliver it. A David-like husband is man enough to receive it. (p 79)

What mission could be more meaningful than being an excellent wife alongside a mighty man of God? (p 82)

Practical womanly dominion without devotional womanly dominion can easily deteriorate into atheistic enterprising. (88)

Such atheistic enterprising is the very thing we do if we put our hands to the daily plow without taking time to pray and plead for the help of God to establish the work of our hands. (p 88)

Devotional consistency requires practical creativity. (p 88)

Be definition, motherhood is that dignified and strenuous life vocation taken up by a woman who has resolved to give herself fully to the task of nurturing godly children from a godly home environment. (p 98)

[S]tay-at-home mothering did not culturally evolve from the influence of heavy-handed men; it was sovereignly ordained by the decree of our good heavenly Father. (p 99)

Mothering is a profoundly sanctifying vocation which cultivates the graces of love, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control, selflessness, humility, dependence, prayerfulness, and joy as none other. (p 101)

Motherhood is an honorable and sacred vocation. The King of Heaven has specially appointed the mother to accomplish a noble and lofty mission. Though some shrill voices in our dimwitted society may belittle her occupation, she should press on in her duties with her head held high. She’s about the King’s business. (p 101)

How does a married woman with children forge a noble reputation in God’s eyes? She hammers it out on the anvil of sacrificial mothering. She gives herself wholly to the sacred mission of nurturing God-fearing children, from a spiritually healthy home environment. (p 102)

The cream, and not the dregs, of her energies and time are to be poured into her loving her husband and children from her household headquarters. (p 103)

A homemaking mother is not merely a conservative and anachronistic option, but a God-ordained and sacredly instituted vocation. (p 105)

Homemaking motherhood is no refuge for the inept woman who can’t cut it in the real world. Rather, stay-at-home mothering is the ultimate profession for the elite of her gender. (p 108)

Those motherly hands are molding characters which will become men and women who will turn the world upside down either for good or for evil. Now that’s a job that counts. (p 108)

What could bring more joy to an aging woman than to have her children rise up and call her blessed by their walking in the faith? What could bring more joy to a glorified woman than seeing around the heavenly throne a multigenerational crowd of her maternal influence? (p 122)

It requires great courage, strength, resourcefulness, savvy, wisdom, and heroism to rear up children to the glory of God. (p 123)

Not only is the unborn child the most unprotected and endangered species on earth, but our born children are suffering gross neglect upon their arrival into the world. (p 124)

Because of a dedicated mother’s exceeding value to the good of society and the kingdom of God, the forces of darkness have aimed their big guns against her. (p 124)

Your mission, dear mother, is not to make your children happy, but to prepare them for eternity. (p 127)

A woman of dominion will strive to maintain an orderly household. An overgrown yard, ransacked rooms, and a sink stacked high with dirty dishes do not glorify the God who loves things being “done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40; also numerous Proverbs). (p 139)

Let go of your right to personal leisure. (p 140)

I’ve not be commissioned at this stage in my life to enjoy leisure, but to be a father. My goal is not to raise low-maintenance children, but lion-hearted ones. (p 141)

Motherhood is much like Savior-hood. The Lord Jesus needed rest and a vacation but was compelled to do otherwise. (p 141)

Resolve to raise your boys to be men. (p 144)

Train your sons to face obstacles head on, work hard through thorns and thistles, and “find a way” to get jobs done. They need to become bread-winning providers in a cursed world. (p 144)

Mothers must lionize their sons by dignifying them with their respect. (p 145)

Cloak your son with a big jacket of respect in his childhood, and he’ll seek to grow into it in his manhood. (p 145)

Are we directing and equipping our daughters to be godly helpmeets and mothers or independent career women who loathe wifehood and mother hood? It’s very possible to unwittingly do the latter by haphazardly sending them into the heavy current of today’s educational system and youth culture. (p 147)

I desperately need a wife who is well-educated, well-read, precise thinking, culturally aware, financially shrewd, and theologically mature. Such a wife is a potent force of inestimable value in the lives of her husband and children. (p 149)

A college education can go a long way in training a young woman to be an excellent helpmeet and mother. But she needs her mother continuously at her elbow. (p 149)

Ultimately, it’s God’s sovereign grace, and not a mother’s faithful diligence, that saves and sanctifies her children. (p 150)

Hannah’s wonderful experience inspires ladies to believe that the Lord peculiarly cups His ear to motherly women who cry out to Him with wet eyes and distressed hearts (1 Samuel 1:9-11, 27). God remarkably responds to such pleading women. (p 152)

Biblical love isn’t primarily a feeling or an emotion. It’s fundamentally not a noun, but a verb. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) Love is not a sentiment, but an action. It’s not something you feel, but something you do. (p 163)

Men love to be perceived as heroes and dragon slayers. We love to rescue damsels and be admired for our chivalrous feats. (p 169)

Yes, we men are easily captivated by our brides’ looking beautifully feminine and acting flirtatiously sweet. Did I say flirtatious? That is an important variable, too. (p 174)

[David the psalmist] was emboldened like a lion, not by convincing himself that his fears would probably never materialize. They might! Rather he calmed his soul by meditating on the covenant love of his God. (p 184)

When put to shaking by the hobgoblins, dragons, and dreads of the black valley, the Psalmist doesn’t flee into the fantasy of denial, but boldly ventures down to confront them. “I fear no evil.” (p 185)

Experience with God’s faithful shepherding in dark valleys makes the most delicate of women, as bold as lions. (p 191)

[An empty nester] remains a mother to her grown children who are slugging-it-out in the trenches of young family life and a grandmother to a newly hatching generation. An available and servant-hearted mom and grandma is an incalculable windfall. Furthermore, the church of Christ can be mightily empowered by older women who pour their time, energies, and wisdom into the ministries of their local congregations. (p 225)

8 Replies to “Tuesday May 4, 2010”

  1. So cool! my best friend’s Pastor is Mark Chanski! He’s such a sweet man. I’ve met him a few times and he’s really a genuinely godly man with a heart for the Lord and a desire to serve others. 

  2. ‘ Fruitfulness varies in its manifestation among different plants. A
    fruitful grape-vine will sport many, many clusters of grapes. On the
    other hand, a productive pumpkin vine may only generate four or five
    pumpkins. Fruitfulness will vary from womb to womb, family to family.’

    Melissa, this just spoke to my heart today. I have many days where I struggle being content with my 4 and knowing that with the way my body is behaving, this is all the children we will be blessed with. The last few days have been hard for me this way and reading these exerpts and especially that phrase above was so encouraging! I need to add this book to my reading list.

    Keeping you in my prayers…….

  3. Those are all great excerpts, some I skimmed and some I read over a few times but I loved them all and am saving some. I am starting an article on Virtuous Women…specifically 2 grandma figures in my life…..

    Sam and I are both helping with a new magazine that our friend, Natalie (Author of Quest for the High Places, http://heartthoughtspub.wordpress.com/quest-2/)is doing, Pursue Beauty will come out this fall, and be as the magazine HopeChest was.http://pursuebeauty.blogspot.com/

  4. STEF- that’s really cool. I love knowing authors personally, and seeing how they come across both in real life and in writing. It can be beautiful.
    MEGGAN- it’s definitely not my favorite book on the subject (his writing style was not my favorite, and I got sick of his sports & car mechanic references), but the principles behind it are really quite good. And he used lots of quotes from other people, so there are lots of springboards in the book for finding other good books on the subject as well.
    CHARLOTTE- I think that was the paragraph that most impacted me in the entire book. I want to memorize it. I want to print it on a t-shirt. And I want to embrace it with my heart. I’m sorry you are struggling. (((hugs))) I want to say “I understand” but I know I don’t. But I’m praying for you. And God does understand.
    JAC & SAM- I think you would like the book, but like I said above it isn’t my favorite one on the subject. If you go to this link, you can even find an online study that goes with it. You’ll have to tell me how Pursue Beauty goes for you! Man, it feels like ages since I’ve been involved with young ladies’ magazines. I’d love to do that again sometime.

  5. @joyfuldomesticity – Hey 🙂 Thanks for the reply! I put the book on my wish list on Paperbackswap.com so hopefully it will become available soon. Thanks for the online study link too!
    We’ll let you know how Pursue Beauty goes… I (Sam) am one of the photographers for the magazine and we are also going to be writing and helping out however we can.
    If you are interested in subscribing (not sure the cost at this point), just let Natalie know. We’d love to have you join us, if you’d like! 🙂

  6. @yourfriendjc – yeah, I might look into it more. I’ve been hoping to someday get my toes back into girls’ magazine mode – but know that a lot of that has given way to blogging. So maybe I will talk to Natalie someday about at least sharing my story/testimony since marriage, if nothing else. I’m glad that this ministry is picking back up again. Bless you as you participate!

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