Ordering Life Around God's Priorities

Leslie Basham: A mother once heard a thud on the floor after putting her son to bed. Sharon Jaynes picks up the story.

Sharon Jaynes: He said, "I don't know. I guess I stayed too close to where I got in." I read that and I thought, "You know that happens with a lot of Christians sometimes? We stay too close to where we get in. And there's so much more than just a promise of heaven. We can have such a full life here on earth."

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, July 1st. Here's Nancy to introduce today's guest.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If you've been listening to Revive Our Hearts for any length of time, you know that our goal is to call women to experience freedom and fullness and fruitfulness in Christ. As part of that mission, we're challenging women to understand what the Scripture teaches about our calling and our mission as women and to embrace the Biblical teaching on what it means to be a woman.

Well, maybe you've discovered as I have, if you're committed to a Biblical view of womanhood, we start to wonder sometimes, "Am I the only one who is really committed to this way of thinking? Is this so old-fashioned that nobody believes this anymore?"

Well, I am always grateful to meet women and to come across ministries that share our commitment of the Biblical teaching of what it means to be a woman and to live as a woman of God. One of those ministries that I've discovered over the years is Proverbs 31 Ministries, which is headed up by two women, Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes. This week we're delighted to welcome to Revive Our Hearts Sharon, who is the vice-president of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Sharon, thank you so much for being a kindred spirit and for helping me feel like I'm not the only woman on the planet who believes some of these things that we've talked about on Revive Our Hearts.

Sharon Jaynes: Thank you. Thank you Nancy, and thank you for being a kindred spirit. It's nice to know that you're out there, too, fighting the same battle with us.

Nancy: Now, when we say Proverbs 31 Ministries, I don't want to assume that all of our listeners know what Proverbs 31 is. Tell us a little bit about the ministry and how you got the name and what the name refers to.

Sharon: Well Nancy, Proverbs 31 is an incredible chapter in the Bible. We've looked at those verses 10-31 and looked at what a wife of noble character really looks like. We took seven principles from those verses, and that's the foundation of Proverbs 31 Ministries. It's interesting to know . . . . I know a lot of women have read those verses and thought, "Well some man really expects a lot out of a woman to think that we can do all this."

But it's so interesting that a woman wrote those verses, actually. It was King Lemuel's mother telling him, "Now son when you go look for a wife, this is what you look for." So as you go back and read those verses, we do have to keep that in mind.

Nancy: You've pulled seven principles for godly womanhood out of Proverbs chapter 31, and those have become the basis for Proverbs 31 Ministries. We want to look at those principles this week, so let's jump into the first one which is really the starting place for being the women God wants us to be. What's that first principle?

Sharon: Well, the first principle is that the Proverbs 31 woman loves and reveres Jesus Christ as Lord of her life and pursues a personal and ongoing relationship with Him. And Nancy, that is so key. It's the key to everything that we do as Christian women.

I discovered that very early on in my young life. I was not raised in a Christian home, but then when I was about 12 years-old I met a woman in my neighborhood, it was a mother actually of a friend of mine, and she just took me under her wing.

I really thought Mrs. Henderson was a little odd because she talked about Jesus Christ like she knew Him personally. I mean, we went to church and I didn't hear anyone talking like that. But she talked about a personal relationship, and she ministered to me for two years.

All during that time I saw many things a child should never see, heard things a child should never hear. But then when I went to church with them, I learned about Jesus Christ and how to have a personal relationship with Him. I accepted Christ when I was 14, and the good news, as Paul Harvey would say, "The rest of the story," is that two years later my mom came to Christ, and three years after that my dad came to Christ.

So I got to see firsthand the difference Jesus Christ can make in a family. That's the whole purpose behind what I do at Proverbs 31 Ministries and why that first principle is so important. First, we have to have our lives on track with Jesus Christ and make Him Lord of our lives before anything else can make sense.

Nancy: I think it's easy to skip over that when we talk about godly womanhood and we think of all the things a godly woman does. If we skip over this first foundational matter of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then it's all just works. It's all human effort. We may have religion, we may be good people, but if the works that we do are not birthed out of a love for Jesus and a personal relationship with Him, they really don't matter.

Now, how did you get that principle that a Proverbs 31 woman reveres Jesus Christ as Lord of her life and pursues an ongoing relationship with Him?

Sharon: Well, one thing we know about the Proverbs 31 woman is that she loved the Lord. This is a woman who loves the Lord. "She shall be praised" (verse 30). This is a book in the Old Testament, so she didn't know Jesus Christ yet. But we are absolutely convinced that any woman in the Old Testament who loved God with all her heart would love Jesus Christ had she been born in the New Testament times. That's how we draw that out and turn that from just loving God to loving Jesus Christ as well.

Nancy: It's interesting that God used a family to show you the love of Christ and the gospel of Christ. What are some of the ways that Mrs. Henderson made Christianity believable to you?

Sharon: Well, she was very happy. She would walk around the house singing praise songs as she cleaned the house. You know what really ministered to me more than anything is the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Henderson.

Nancy: Because you hadn't seen that in your home?

Sharon: I had not. They would hug and kiss each other in front of us, and they had little pet names for each other. They prayed together as a family. That was something I had never seen. But I can tell you the truth Nancy, the first time I saw it, I knew that's what I wanted. I wanted it in my own home, and I knew that when I grew up, that's the kind of man that I wanted to marry. That's the kind of family that I wanted to have.

What a joy it is that God has allowed me to be in a ministry that helps women to have that kind of home.

Nancy: I think, Sharon, what you experienced there is so powerful, and our listeners may want to ask themselves this question: if some little twelve-year-old girl were to come into my home, coming out of a broken family and an alcoholic, violent home background and they were to step into our home, what would they experience? What would they see? What would they see in our marriage? What would they see in the way that I speak to my children as a mom?

Would they see something that would make Jesus believable to them? Would they see joy, or would they see this depressed, sad atmosphere? The kind of climate we're setting in our home really can have an impact. Of course, it has an impact on your husband and on your children, but also it can have an impact on the little girls like Sharon Jaynes who are out there who desperately need to experience the love of Christ and may never experience it apart from seeing that kind of love in your marriage, in your home.

Sharon: We've had lots of children who have enjoyed being in our home. On any given Saturday when my son was a teenager, I could go upstairs and see boys that had spent the night in the rec room who just really liked to congregate at our home.

Nancy: Why do you think that was?

Sharon: I think it's because of the same things that I saw in the Henderson's home; they saw it in our home. For ten years my son went to a Christian school, and then he went to public school in eleventh grade and twelfth grade. He really wanted to do that, and when he got there he realized that hardly any of his friends had families that were together.

These boys started coming to our home, and we gave many of them Bibles for graduation presents. But you know what else, Nancy, is that they saw, "Yes we love the Lord with all our hearts." They thought that was a little odd, but we were also a lot of fun. We had lots of fun with those kids. We had dinners for them; we would play games with them. They would even play games and invite my husband and I to play with them, which I think is very odd for a teenager. But they enjoyed being around us.

We would take them to the beach with us. I know a lot of parents get a little bit concerned when non-Christian children are coming into their home, worried about the influence. And that is a concern. You do have to be concerned with that somewhat. But these boys knew several things about us. They knew that at any moment I might walk in the room.

Nancy: A little accountability there.

Sharon: So that was one thing. They knew that no swearing was going to be done in our home. If they did, I called them on it and might even ask them to leave. But that didn't mean I didn't love them. There were some pretty strict rules in our home. What I saw is that they loved those rules, and I think many of them wished that they had those rules in their home.

Nancy: They were looking for that evidence of love and security. Now your relationship with Christ that began when you were fourteen years of age, that was really just the starting place, and part of that first principle. The Proverbs 31 woman reveres Jesus Christ as Lord of her life and pursues an ongoing, personal relationship with Him. That suggests that there's more to the relationship with Christ than just the starting point of salvation.

Sharon: Exactly. You know, I heard this story about a little boy who went off to bed one night. He climbed up the stairs and got in the bed. Then after a few moments his mother heard a loud thump on the floor. She ran upstairs and saw him lying on the floor and said, "Son what happened?" He said, "I don't know. I guess I stayed too close to where I got in."

I read that and I thought, "You know, that happens with a lot of Christians sometimes. We stay too close to where we get in."

Nancy: That's dangerous.

Sharon: It's dangerous, and it's so much more than just a promise of heaven. We can have such a full life here on earth. The more we know Jesus Christ, the closer we get to God, the more abundant our lives will be.

That started as a teenager, accepting Christ, but right away I got into Bible studies. I've always loved being in a Bible study and having a personal quiet time each day with the Lord before I start my day.

Nancy: Now, when you say a personal quiet time, for somebody who may not be familiar with that term, what does that mean?

Sharon: Well for me . . . . It looks different to different people, but for me it is getting up and reading God's Word every day and praying every day--those two things. You know I have this little acronym to help women to get started in having a quiet time. I said, "Think about it like you're going on a date, like a date with Jesus."

Nancy: Yes.

Sharon: "D" stands for determine to have a quiet time each day. Determine that you're going to spend time with Him each day. "A" is appoint a specific time. Studies show that if you do something consistently for seven weeks, then you're more likely to form a habit. What a great habit to have! So "A" is appoint a specific time each day. For me, that's in the morning.

"T" is take your cues from Jesus. What did He do when He had His time alone? One: He was by Himself. Number two: He prayed and talked to God, and He asked God what He was supposed to do that day.

And "E" stands for equip yourself for every good work. That's learning what the Bible says, learning about God, memorizing verses, really getting that from your head to your heart and equipping yourself for every good work. There's your date for Jesus.

Leslie Basham: That's Sharon Jaynes talking with Nancy Leigh DeMoss about growing as a woman of God. Sharon writes about this in her book A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life. She offers seven priorities to help women know how to order their day in a meaningful way.

If your life seems too disorganized, I hope you'll order a copy of this book and get some perspective. Just ask for A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life when you call 1-800-569-5959. You can also order online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

I hope you have a great holiday weekend. When you're celebrating on Monday, take some time to join us. Sharon Jaynes will give advice on how to set priorities in a way that builds a marriage. Now to wrap things up, here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Sharon has given us a two-fold challenge today, and I want to make sure that you've heard it and that you're personally applying it in your own life. So let me ask two questions. Number one: has there ever been that point when you've said, "Yes" to Christ and trusted Him to save you, and He came into your life, and you know that you're a child of God?

Then, if you are a Christian and you're sure of that, are you growing in your relationship with Him in the Word, in prayer, getting to know God in a personal way? That's the foundation to becoming a woman who fears the Lord and a woman who pleases God.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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