We all have room for growing in grace as we follow the Lord’s leading for our lives.
“You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are
not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.“
(2 Peter 3:17-18 ESV)
Recently, the Lord convicted me of an age-old common sin struggle of women everywhere: trying to rule over my husband.
It was not an outright coup, but rather, subtle overtones in my attitude and tone of voice that dripped of, I know better.
I do not want to be like this, and it was slightly distressing when I understood what was happening. I knew it was sinful and hurtful to my husband.
Why was I struggling with this?
To Whom Are We Listening?
In 2 Peter, he warns the believers to guard themselves against certain kinds of people.
He speaks not only of false teachers but of those who are ignorant (untaught in the Scriptures) and unstable (2 Peter 3:16). These are the people who twist and distort the Word of God (v 17).
I began to ask the Lord who I had been listening to that might be influencing my heart.
The answer: me. I was acting as the ignorant one. I found myself in the comparison trap and becoming very discontent because of it.
As I study the Word, I make lots of lists. Two of these lists include “fallen condition” and “redemptive solution.” I love how verses 16-18 of 2 Peter 3 highlight a fallen condition and a redemptive solution. The Lord never leaves us to figure things out on our own!
When the Lord convicted me, He reminded me of two stunning realities:
- We listen to ourselves more than anyone else.
- When we are busy listening to ourselves, we cannot listen to the Lord at the same time.
I was so busy listening to my complaints and comparisons that I was getting carried away in the process of losing my stability. I am thankful the Lord brought conviction when He did – before I made a big mess (full disclosure: I did still have to seek my husband’s forgiveness).
Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Our Lord
The redemptive solution to my problem was to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (v18). I needed to reorient my mind.
To do this, I needed to take a few steps:
First, I needed to repent and “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5 ESV).
Unfortunately, rather than obeying the Lord’s words through places like Philippians 4:8, my thoughts bordered on untruth and were not praiseworthy or excellent.
My heart held a lofty opinion of myself and my thoughts against the knowledge of God.
Thankfully, we’re part of a thriving church where truth is spoken in love. As I articulated my struggles to a trusted friend, she helped me to see what I was doing. To be sure, it was hard to hear! I didn’t like hearing it! But the Lord did help me to receive it and to repent.
Second, I needed to begin meditating on different things. It’s not usually helpful to tell yourself or someone else to “stop it!” I did need to stop the sinful thoughts, but I needed to also replace them with thoughts that enabled me to obey Peter’s words (v 18).
I began to thank the Lord for a particular characteristic of my husband that is like the Lord. I thanked the Lord for His perfect leadership in giving me this specific man. We’re living in a culture that is becoming increasingly difficult not to be influenced by, and I am even more aware of this with each passing day. Let’s be women who guard our hearts and minds by daily Bible reading, confession, and participating in a healthy local church!
In His Word
1 and 2 Peter are excellent books to spend time studying as it relates to how to carry our hearts. Ask the Lord as you study, “In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. …I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (Psalm 119:14, 16-18 ESV).
In Your Life
Are there ways that you might be subtly influenced by the culture regarding how you relate to your husband? Take some time to ask the Lord to examine your heart.
If you need instruction as to how to study your Bible, I can’t recommend One to One Bible Reading highly enough! It’s a quick read that I’m leading the women in our church through in 2022.