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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Godly Wife Bible Study, Plain Lifestyle » GARMENT OF PRAISE

GARMENT OF PRAISE

What a month it has been – I have loved all the emails and thoughts on this section of the Bible Study.  One phrase that has been going through my mind continually on this topic is a scripture, but also a song that I learned in the church during my teen years “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  Lift up your voice to God.  Praying in the Spirit and with the understanding, Oh, Magnify the Lord!”   Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

 In this section I want to explore not the physical garment that we, as Godly women and wives wear, but the spiritual and emotional garments that we put on every morning when we wake up.  In the above scripture, the word Garment comes from the Hebrew word Ma`ateh (Strong’s Hebrew 4594).  It means wrap or mantle.  When I think of this verse, my mind imagines something that is encircling me and covering me like a shawl or cloak.  Have you ever felt that you had a cloak of heaviness?  Grief, sadness, weariness, sorrow – all these things seem to weigh us down like a soaking wet blanket, don’t they?  I can almost feel the weight of it as I type.  It is a spirit of heaviness. 

 Have you ever seen a woman walking through a store, or driving her car or sitting in a restaurant, who has a look on her face like she could bite off nails!  And I don’t mean fingernails. I mean iron nails.  This is a woman with a cloak of anger.  Were you looking in the mirror at the time?  There are also women who seem to never have anything but sorrow.  Granted some women have great tragedy in their lives and they experience tremendous moments of sorrow – that is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about women who seem to be in a perpetual funk.  Nothing is ever right.  Nothing brings joy.  Nothing lifts their spirits.  Their “countenance has fallen”.

 Notice these scriptures – I have added the bold type –

Genesis 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 

 Nehemiah  2:2  Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

 Job 16:16  My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;

Proverbs 15:13A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

 It is VERY noticeable when a person has a fallen countenance.  It shows clearly on their face what is going on in their mind and in their heart.  As I said before, I am not talking about when a person has a real tragedy in their lives.  I am talking here about when we as women walk around with a sour expression on our faces, because we have no true joy in our hearts.  It is not possible for a person that has the Living God in their hearts and knows their position within His Kingdom, to not have joy.  And it is not possible to have genuine joy in your heart and walk around with a frown and sour expression.  However, it is very possible to get into the habit of always seeing the negative in everything and walking in that negativity.  Our faces are worn like a garment.

 There are some who have mastered the art of mask-making.  By that I mean that they know how to put on a “face” for the right moment.  One moment they can be scowling in anger and the next grinning from ear to ear.  This is a deception and a lie.  I call it being “two-faced”.  Have you ever noticed that women who are given to gossiping are very good at putting on the appropriate face at the appropriate time?  YUCK!!!  Let us all commit in the strongest sense to shun this behavior and turn away from it in ourselves and in other women. Personally, this is something that I abhor. More importantly this is abhorrent to God!!  Your face – the attitude that shows on your face- is truly a sign of what is within.  When you walk around with a spirit of heaviness, it is contagious.  When you walk in a spirit of joy it is also contagious and it brings Glory to God.

 Many years ago, when I was a very young wife and mother, I was in a women’s seminar and one of the statements that the speaker made has stayed with me.  She said that the sound of a woman singing and humming while she was busy doing her housework was one of the sweetest sounds that a husband could hear.  I have thought about that so many times through the years.  The sound of a woman truly at peace and with such joy in her heart that she sang while she worked is enticing to her husband. I know this to be true because many times when I was doing just that, my preciousPaulhas come into the room and asked, “Honey, what are you so happy about?”  Of course, my response is always the same, “YOU!” It never fails to bring a hug and a kiss and reassurance that we are strong together.

 Part of the joy of being Paul’s wife is the fun that we have together.  I will share with you one of the things thatPauldoes that makes me giggle, no matter what mood I am in.  Have you ever seen the movie, “Driving Miss Daisy”?  In the movie, the wealthy, elderly woman – Miss Daisy – can no longer drive her own car.  Her son hires her a chauffeur and she hates it.   She refuses to ride with him.  In her obstinance, she walks to the grocery store to buy her groceries.  The chauffeur drives alongside her until finally she barks, “What are you doing?!”  His response, “I am trying to drive you to the store!”  Whenever I am frustrated or upset andPaulwants to make me smile, he will come into the room and say “I am just trying to drive you to the store!!”  I smile now as I think about it.  The point is that he knows that sometimes I allow the things of this world to build up until I am scowling – in my heart or on my face or in my mind.  Just like Miss Daisy who refused to be thankful for the Lord’s provision for her (the chauffeur in her case), sometimes I just am determined to be upset.  It is so often just a matter of a choice we make.    We need to make the choice to be content – to be joyful – to be happy!

 One surefire way for us to be happy and joyful, is to Praise, Praise, Praise!  How can anyone frown when they are singing:

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!

Where? Down in my heart!

Where? Down in my heart!

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!

Where? Down in my heart!

Where? Down in my heart!

Down in my heart to STAY!”

or

“There’s within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low,

“Fear not I am with thee, peace be still, in all of life’s ebb and flow!”

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – sweetest Name I know.

Fills my every longing.  Keeps me singing as I go!”

 If you will begin to fill your heart and mouth with Praises to God, then He will fill your mind and your spirit.  Once that begins there is no question that your countenance will begin to rise and your face will show the evidence of it.  You will bring tremendous blessings to your husband as well as your children and everyone else around you, when you  become a radiant, joy-filled Daughter of God!

 

Lesson: all

Study: Angie, this Bible study is helping me to exmaine my life and to start praying that the Lord will deal with me and help me do what he wants and not what I want

Name: Elizabeth

Elizabeth – I am encouraged to hear this.  We must all continue to examine ourselves in the light of His Word to see if we are where He wants us to be.  Please do share your thoughts with us as we continue on with our study.

Lesson: Garment of Praise

Study: I can relate to this in a way, my husband and I have 9 people living in our house right now, there is not enough room for everyone, my daughter is sleeping on our love seat/recliner in our music room. I get practically NO help from anyone, unless I ask them to, so, yes, there many times, not only during the day, but also during the entire week, that I do not have a smile on my face, nor do I feel like smiling at all.

About the only bright spot of any day is when my 16 month old granddaughter does something that just tickles me pink.(Yes, her and her parents are 3 of the 9 that live here.)And baby brother is due any time.

I feel more like a slave than an actual wife and mother. I actually take better care of the toddler than her own mother does, I am really dreading/looking forward to the new little, if that is even possible to have both feelings at the same time.

My living room is constantly a mess with diapers and clothes all over the place, I have to tell her mother to pick up all the time, it is just really frustrating!!

Name: Rose

Rose, thanks for writing in.  Please allow me to encourage you in the Lord that as you serve your family, you are laying up treasure in heaven.  It is vital that we keep that deep inner joy and peace so that we can truly serve with His Heart and His Mind.  Hard to do, I know, but as you do, it becomes easier. 

That being said, allow me also to exhort you to have a nice long discussion with the family and set some rules and standards.  It is not helping them to allow them to do nothing.  I have found in the past that people will begin to resent you if you go overboard in taking care of everything.  It is hard to explain, but I realize through years of experience in this that everyone needs to feel needed and they need a job to make them feel productive.  I suggest that  you design a jobs list for the family and have them honor it.  I will be praying for you in this!!

Lesson: all

Study: I am enjoing this Bible Study and have a lot of praying to do about all of this.

Name: Elizabeth

 

Lesson: Garment of Praise

Study: I really appreciate this particular discussion. It is so true too. What we allow ourselves to be like on the outside has a big effect on how our inside feels and our family (or others around us) pick up on that and reflect it back. Its not only contagious, at times it can become an epidemic. I’ve noticed over the years that if something happens that upsets me and I let those grouchy feelings take control over my day then the whole day is just shot. My husband picks up on it and my grumbly mood seems to bleed into his mood, before long the kids are grumbly too and the day is ruined. It took a while before I noticed it was me who started the whole thing! Through God’s grace I have learned to recognize this grumpiness or irritation in myself and get control over it before it effects the whole household. My family doesn’t deserve a crabby momma being moody all day over something that really amounts to nothing in the grand scheme of things. Having made a conscious choice to not let that happen I am more sensative to noticing how my moods can make or break a day. In the end some pretty terrible starting days have turned out to be some pretty great ones. I want to be a blessing to my husband. I want my children to have memories of a cheerful loving momma, not a moody grouch whose moods made things heavy and dark. There is so much joy that can be found in ordinary circumstances but that can’t be seen or felt if the house is heavy! I still have days where I catch myself grumping up, the difference now is that the Lord has helped me to be more sensative to those days so I can recognize it and work harder to turn it around. I am really enjoying these talks! They are helping me see some things I don’t regularly think about or reminding me of some I might need to re-evaluate and make a fresh polish on.

Name: Shellie

Shellie – as always, you bring things down to a practical level and I love it!  What you said, “My family doesn’t deserve a crabby momma being moody all day over something that really amounts to nothing in the grand scheme of things.” – so true!!!!  Especially the part about the GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS.  Trying to teach something or establish something is vitally important to us in our position as mother’s but sometimes it is easy to feel slighted or taken advantage of.  We must keep in perspective when these feelings strike!  Thanks again for sharing your insights – they make me think too!

 Lesson: countenance

Study: I have always had to battle temper and all the stuff that goes with it when things are not going my way – from my toddling days onward. As a christian I wanted so badly to change these traits and I have been changed alot, but I can sense it lurking within me still – like something caged I do not allow out. There are times, though, when I do fail and the grumpiness or anger escapes and does damage. This is one type of battle that can affect occasionally my countenance, but there is another that is worse to understand and control. The difficulty in being a caregiver to a sick person ( this would be for anyone in a long term demanding situation of any kind. I am thinking of difficult marriages). I wonder if God allowed me this role to help me develop more control over my moods and temper etc… . Being in valley after valley at times can allow the old nature to threaten and I have found myself fighting anger, bitterness even, and emotions that just shock me. These things were lurking around in me? Obviously, the problem is that I am thinking things ought to be different than they are when I am falling into anger or depression. Taking prayer to a whole new level has allowed me to be more teachable by the Lord and shown me where my vision is not dependent on His. The only answer is prayer in the challenging, long term situation. A practical help has been to seek someone in a similar situation or even several if we can find them, and minister to one another, pray for one another, and learn from one another. I have 2 very close friends who have very challenging long term situations and I marvel at their cheerful countenance and it encourages me to seek the Lord’s help more aggressively in this. It made me feel even more useless to hear from others who noticed I was down (I tried to hide it, and thought I had, so this is proof we need to seek God to do what we are not able to do. He will show us what we are lacking). I had some folks believing my plain ways were the cause of my problems. I guess I am saying that sometimes the problems in this world will weigh on us obviously even though we are trying to be strong and carry it ourselves – being stoic will not work. Not to give in to depression, but bring it to God aggressively and all day until He gets us where we ought to be.

Name: Joanie

WOW, Joanie!  You have not only served us some meat but it is Prime Rib!  So much there to digest and ponder over.  I appreciate deeply the openness of your testimony in this and it causes me to want to examine more the reasons for my own irritations at times. In raising our daughters I have always tried to point out to them that when someone is acting angry there is often times an unseen cause – unseen to us and to the person themselves. 

I also appreciate the fact that you shared some ways to work through this.  It is one thing to see the problem, but to also have a possible remedy is vital and you covered both beautifully. 

You wrote “Obviously, the problem is that I am thinking things ought to be different than they are when I am falling into anger or depression. Taking prayer to a whole new level has allowed me to be more teachable by the Lord and shown me where my vision is not dependent on His.” and this is so true.  I have found the same thing in my life – when I hoped, dreamed, pondered, wished that things would be different and yet they are not, then I become angry inside and it comes out at the slightest thing.  We must seek His Face and His Plan in order to truly walk in a peaceful attitude.  Thanks for sharing this!!

Lesson: Study

Study: Hello again everyone! I have spent the last few weeks moving from North Carolina to New York. It’s been such a blessing! I am now just catching up again and wanted to share something that’s been on my heart. This study has caused me to really look at the way I conduct myself as a wife, a mother and before the Lord. It’s been an incredible journey so far but with any growth, there have been some pains. My husband has had a separate email account for several years that I know about but that he does not share with me. I have come across it before and it contains things like pictures of women, pornographic emails he gets from his male friends and he has even used it to communicate with other women that he knows I would not approve of. Now let me just say that my husband is very committed to our marriage, he is the head of our household and the best father I could ever wish for my kids. He is not some porn collector holed away in a dark room somewhere! 🙂 But lets just say that we have different views on what should be appropriate and not. He is very liberal and open minded when it comes to these kinds of things. So now that we have moved he is setting up our emails and in the interim is using that email address. And it bugs me!!! I can’t help it. It just nags at me and disrupts my whole spirit every time I see it. And then the insecurities pop in. As I struggle to dress modestly then I think if I am too modest he’ll want to look more at those emails, he’ll be disinterested in me. I am rambling but I hope you all get my point here. So I have been praying and praying. And here’s what I have come up with. I can’t change Mark. I can’t. But the Lord can. And I am commanded to love my husband in reverance to God. I am his helpmeet and I am to honor and respect him even when he makes me mad because by doing so I am honoring God. So often over these last couple of weeks I have thought of this study and the things I am learning. I know that if I allow this issue to affect my daily life then I am a grouchy, crabby wife and mother. Who needs that??? Not my family and they don’t deserve it either. It’s an issue that I have to let go of and allow the Lord to work in. I have to just continue on with what God is showing me and leave the rest of it up to him. Just like Joanie said, bring it to God agressively – I love that! So there you have it ladies. I hope that you are all doing well and I thank you for being here. Angie, you are such a blessing to me – thanks!! 🙂

Name: Donna

Dearest Donna – Thank you so much for sharing this testimony with us.  I am sitting here with the flu and just because I am so tired of being in the bed, thought I would check the email.  I am thankful and rejoicing to find such an uplifting letter.  The Lord is truly showing Himself mighty in you and I am excited about the future joys that He is going to bless you with as you honor Him and your husband in these difficult situations.

Much Love!!

 Lesson: Countenance

Study: Just joining in on the study (though late) and done a whole read through. I will say Shellie hit the nail about keeping our mood up and how it affects all of the home. Moods are more contagious than any disease. So true, and so vital to remember. A side note of sort to that: scriptures say we should not be complainers either. If we are always complaining or are unhappy, our countenance reflects that as well. What a negative witness that might be to another person. “They might look at us and think/say, wow if that person is a Christian, I sure don’t want to be one. Look how bad they feel.” As believers we need to be able to give the reason for the hope within us. You never know, a simple smile at a stranger may make their entire day as well. Sometimes the simple things, add to more than one might think.

Name: Eleanor

 Lesson: Separation in Dress

Study: I know I am late on this part totally. But I want to tell you Angie that you are right in that not only modesty, but seperation is best maintained. I know a lot don’t understand this. I sure didn’t for a long time. At first, I was the same as you, jumpers and tees, long skirts and tees,etc. Still wore my bangs. Still wore make up and a small amount of jewelry. Modest by the world’s standard yes, but not REALLY different. And for almost the exact same reason as you mentioned, I had people respond to me. You dress normal, but why do you cover your head? I got thinking about that..I believe I had done it thinking I didn’t want to stand out. I wanted to blend a little better. But that was wrong of me. Be ye seperate from the world….I now don’t want to dress normal or blend, I want it to be different. Very plain, and modest as I in my current walk know how to make it. Not to get attention, mind you, but to maintain that God’s ways are different than that of the world. We are to maintain distinction. Plainness and humility should be reflected in our dress. Obviously everyone has to decide where that line is through prayer and seeking God. He will lead us to what is right. I doubt that will lead to any popular fashion magazine of today. 🙂

Name: Eleanor

Dear Eleanor – Amen! 

 Lesson: garment of praise

 

Study: The lesson on joy showing on your face when you have the love of God within you really spoke to me. My husband has been in the hospital for nearly a year and I continue teaching at our Christian school and taking care of our three children. I shared what is going on with one of the parents and she asked me how could I come to work every daywith a smile on my face and teach and nurture the children in my class. Without hesitation I replied that it can only be the Lord. If I didn’t have Jesus as my savior and believe in His words and ways I would be sitting and having a pity party. I know God is real because He wakes me up each morning to do His work here on earth. To be His hands, feet, and often a shoulder to cry on. How could I not have joy? Angie, this study is an answer to so many prayers! In His love, Roz

 

Name: Roz Chapman

 

Praise the Lord, Roz!  I appreciate you joining in.  It is a blessing to hear of the work of God in your life in such a trial.  Rest assurred that we will add you and your husband to our prayer list and will keep you in prayer.

 

Big Hugs –

 

Angie

 

 

Angelia

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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Filed under: Godly Wife Bible Study, Plain Lifestyle

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