submission

Lessons from Jesus' Donkey on how to handle the weight of glory on your life

Lessons from Jesus' Donkey on how to handle the weight of glory on your life

Matthew 21:1-9 tells the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey just before His death. In verse 8-9, we are told that when the people Jerusalem saw Him they:

“spread their clothes on the road… cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. [They also] cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’”

The branches that the people used were from palm trees- hence the reason why we celebrate this day as “Palm Sunday”.

Often, when I’ve heard this story told from the point of view of the donkey, one of the things that’s brought up is how lucky she was to have carried Jesus (yes, according to Matthew 21:2, the donkey was female).

But, if I’m honest, when I read it I started thinking about the fact that:

  • As much as carrying Jesus could have been considered the epitome of her donkey career- He was still a weight

  • Her greatest success was also a great burden and so-

  • It costs to have a calling on your life

I was also able to extract 5 lessons that she teaches us, as modern women, about how to handle this effectively. I shared all of this and more on my Facebook page this week via the (live) video below.

Lessons from Rachel and Leah on How to be transformed by the renewing of your mind

Lessons from Rachel and Leah on How to be transformed by the renewing of your mind

So last week, lovely, we started talking about Rachel, Leah and everything that they have to teach us about finding the “why” (or motivation) behind your goals.

One of the things that I mentioned in that post is that sometimes we end up setting goals with wrong intentions because we are motivated by past hurts. This, as was the case with Rachel and Leah, may cause us to want to achieve certain goals for reasons such as:

  • Proving others wrong

  • Feeling validated, for example

rather than wanting to please or glorify God.

The past can also keep us from carrying out God’s will for our lives and achieving our goals when we choose to cleave to the traditions and cultures that we grew up with instead of carrying out God’s words/instructions. This is why Mark 7:13 says:

“[You make] the word of God of no effect through your tradition…”

In order to avoid doing this, we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in line with Romans 12:2- all of which I elaborated on, on my Facebook page this week via the (live) video below.

Lessons from Lot's Wife on How to Submit to God

Lessons from Lot's Wife on How to Submit to God

If you’ve been apart of the Far Above Rubies Collective for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m totally obsessed with gifs (this post is probably the most extreme example of that lol). This is because I LOVE to express myself and I just adore how simple yet effective gifs are for adding that extra layer of meaning and/or emotion to my blog posts, emails and even a social media comment or two!

Next to gifs, I love memes. As you’ll know if you’re apart of my Facebook or Instagram communities, I like the inspirational ones and post those most often but I love the funny ones too- so you can imagine my delight when I came across one that said:

We are called to be the salt of the earth; not salty!

a few weeks ago!

In case you’re unsure, the Urban Dictionary defines the term “salty” as “the act of being upset, angry or bitter” and, if we’re honest, the path to purpose can make us feel that way sometimes- especially if it:

  • Changes life as we know it

  • Costs us our relationships or attachments

  • Causes us to relinquish control (of our plans/what we had in mind in favour of God’s)

  • Arouses fear and so on

We see this (and more!) clearly demonstrated in the life of Lot’s Wife via Genesis 19 as her inability to submit to God’s command, not only made her salty as defined above, but literally got her turned into a pillar of salt!

She’s a great example of the fact that, although the gift of free will means that we have the freedom to say “yes” or “no” to God, there are always consequences for either decision- for better or worse. So we need to know how to make the right ones (even when they don’t necessarily align to what we want), all of which I shared on my Facebook page this week via the (live) video below.

Lessons from 30 amazing Women of the Bible

Lessons from 30 amazing Women of the Bible

This week (October 3rd to be exact) was my birthday and- it wasn't just any birthday- it was my 30th! Also, although I didn't actually make it public until late November, this month will mark a year since I started this blog with a view to:

  • Raise the profile of the contributions of the women of the Bible and how the lessons contained in these can be practically applied in our modern spiritual walks
  • Empower Christian women to fully embrace their unique identities and purpose in Christ, free of the stereotypes and traditions that can "so easily best" us

To celebrate, I am going to share my top 30 women of the Bible along with what they taught me either about Christian womanhood/femininity or life in general. So, in alphabetical order, here goes!

An Interview with Jess on Ruth

An Interview with Jess on Ruth

Today's piece comes from the lovely Jess of jessrealloutiman.tumblr.com, where she collects and displays inspiring images and quotes about faith and life in general. Read on as she talks about Ruth, why she is her favourite woman of the Bible and the lessons that we (as modern women) can learn from her.

Lessons from 5 Rebel Girls of the Bible

Lessons from 5 Rebel Girls of the Bible

This blog post was originally featured on Rising Tswana.

 

Recently I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came across a video from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (of Rebelgirls.co) called “If Cinderella were a Guy”. Through this video, they highlight the fact that women are impacted by misogyny as early as childhood for the following reasons:  

which then give way to confidence issues by the time most girls reach primary or elementary school- more so than boys. In answer to the question of why this is so, Favilli and Cavallo pose one of their own: 

“They say that ‘If you can see it, you can be it.’ But what happens if you never see someone like you making the headlines? What happens when all that you see around you is movies, cartoons, books and TV shows dominated by men?” 

To counteract this, they created a book called “Goodnight Stories of Rebel Girls”- a collection of: 

“100 stories of real women who have achieved incredible things, despite all odds [because] every girl… deserves to grow up thinking that she can be anything she wants.” 

When I saw this video it instantly resonated with me. This, I noted, is definitely a problem in the secular world but it is also a problem within the church. Christian women therefore not only have to navigate systemic sexism such as gender pay gaps, mansplaining and rape culture, they also have  the added baggage of the misogyny that occurs within church, which includes the:  

  • Exacerbation of the problem of limited female representation (in terms of how little we are spoken of generally and in what contexts we are spoken about when we are discussed, particularly where the matriarchs of the faith are concerned)
  • Objectification of women's bodies (either as weapons for "tempting godly men" or for the sole purpose of pleasuring our husbands and having their babies) 
  • Depreciation of women's roles and identity (hence the continued debates around female leadership and preachers, and the idea that being a wife and mother is the "ultimate stamp of womanhood")  

All of these issues were highlighted via this recent article. Issues which I am personally acquainted with and served as both the frustration and inspiration behind launching this website last year.  

This website has allowed me the pleasure of challenging these stereotypes by interviewing a diverse range of Christian women from all walks of life (globally). I also continue to achieve this by discussing the “rebel girls” of the Bible through my weekly devotionals- women who shift traditional paradigms surrounding (Christian) femininity, such as: 

Lessons from the Church on (Mutual) Submission

Lessons from the Church on (Mutual) Submission

Did you know that the church is a woman? Well, she is! As detailed in my guidebook, The Ultimate Guide to Eve, Jesus is referred to as “the bridegroom” many times in scripture (John 3:29; Mark 2:19-20). Marriage symbolism is also used in relation to Him on several occasions (John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:25-27), including the analogy of the church as Christ’s “bride” (2nd Corinthians 11:2; Revelations 19:7-9). 

Most people tend to think of church as simply being a building in which people worship God. Whilst this is true, the fact remains that the church is not just simply made up of bricks and mortar, but the people that comprise His network of believers (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1st Peter 2:4-5). As such, Ephesians 5 verse 22 says:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything...."

Verse 32 of that same chapter then goes on to clarify:

"This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church."

One of the definitions of submission is to:

Accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person

Hence, in a nutshell, this is how I always heard submission taught growing up-

Men are "superior" to women/their wives because "woman came from man". As such, God made each man the "head of his household". Wives should therefore submit to their husbands (unquestioningly) because that is what men are entitled to and that's what a "good" or "godly" wife does.

That's all good and well in theory but what if the man is not subject to God and so is asking his wife to sin? What if the man is controlling, manipulative and/or abusive? What is the man is negligent of his responsibilities? What if the man stops the woman from walking in her God-given purpose? I saw many female relatives come under fierce attack for not submitting to their husbands, even under such circumstances. Yet the men were never held to the same standard or scrutiny. I know many others, women especially, that have had similar experiences and upbringings. It is because of these things that the mere mention of the word "submission" can be enough to:

  • Make some women's blood boil (!)
  • Make some women prefer to remain single
  • Cause some women to see God as unjust, since His words seems to promote inequality
  • Cause some women to believe that God doesn't love them or value women in general

Hence, the afore-mentioned scripture in Ephesians, shows us that the church has much to set the record straight on with regards to this controversial topic.

Lessons from Athaliah on Seeking Godly Counsel

Lessons from Athaliah on Seeking Godly Counsel

Athaliah was the daughter of Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. They were the monarchs that rejected God and introduced the worship of a god called Baal in Israel- even going so far as to kill the majority of God's prophets. 

After lots of shuffling of monarchs, when they died, Athaliah's son (Ahaziah) became king. However, the Bible says that:

"He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother advised him to do wickedly. Therefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction " (2nd Chronicles 22:3-4)

Athaliah, therefore, has much to teach us on the importance of seeking godly counsel.