Kings and Queens 2

Okey dokey. Obviously, this is the promise continuation of my previous post. Quick review that’ll help with understanding my post today: “The Queen was in charge of the castle. She supported him and offered him wisdom and counsel when he needed it. If the King was away at war, SHE was the one who protected the castle. She was supposed to be just but strict. She raised their children (with help from the maids sometimes). And, perhaps most importantly, she submitted to her husband.”

Let’s translate that into today’s terms. A Queen is in charge of doing her part to keep the home looking good and functioning well. Does this mean a guy isn’t supposed to, say, do the dishes? Fold laundry? Cook? Not at all! But it also means that some days, when he is too tired or too busy, it is the job of the wife to do all of it. Yes, all of it. Sometimes, taking care of the house means doing the taxes or doing manual work. It means you work to keep it running smoothly and your husband will help because he loves you. And even if he doesn’t, ladies you are still responsible for YOUR actions, not his. Support and wisdom. Yep, that falls on the ladies too. Sometimes, your husband will not know what to do. Yeah, he’s supposed to lead the house, but he’s human too. There’ll be times when he feels absolutely overwhelmed. These are the times when the ladies – the Queens –are to speak wisdom into their husbands (or boyfriends – the responsibilities don’t begin when your married) lives. They are to be walking close to God themselves, so that when this happens they can speak God’s wisdom into their lives. Sometimes, this can be as simple as saying “There isn’t anything you can do. Remember that great and powerful God we serve? Yep, gotta leave it up to him.” (Sorry, those of you who like to problem-solve. Good luck). Sometimes it might just mean reminding him that you (or God) love(s) him. Sometimes, this is where you have to be walking close with God so that you can say what God is trying to tell him. Or maybe, if God is being silent, it’s just speaking Godly truth into his life.

Next! Defending the castle. Sometimes, in a kingdom’s history, there were wars. And sometimes this called for the King to go off to war. Sometimes this was to defend his own kingdom, and sometimes someone else’s – yes, boys, you are called to help defend other’s kingdoms as well as your own – but while he was gone, it was up to the Queen to defend the castle in his stead. If all went well, she wouldn’t need to. But as we all know, stuff goes wrong. Life isn’t perfect. And so, even if the Queen didn’t know how to fight (although knowing how to fight was always a bonus), she had to know how to lead. She had to sit in on meetings and participate in them. Where was the castle weakest? What where the enemies troops? Where did her people stand on supplies and manpower? What did they do with the village people? What equipment did both sides have? What was morale like? If they needed something, how could they get it? Maybe there was an unconventional idea that she had to push through. The Queen was in charge of this and so much more. Have you ever noticed that any of the queens you hear of in the distant past you hear of because they did something? Ladies, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that sometimes we  are underestimated. It irritates some of us. But personally, I like it! Let the enemy underestimate me! It’ll make it easier to kick them to the curb. As Queens (or future Queens), we are powerful. We’re not always called to show that power, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The Queens are the ones to defend the castle when the King is away.

The Queen was also supposed to be just, but strict. I’m gonna add some stuff to this: the Queen was supposed to have grace and wisdom as well. Tall order, huh? In reality, the just and strict is usually applied to Kings. But Queens are also supposed to be just, and they do need to know when to draw the line. However, the Queens are ALSO supposed to sometimes give second chances. They are supposed to love. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the bible verse, but the Bible tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. This shows a key difference between guys and gals: guys run on respect. It’s important to them. They need to feel needed. It’s how God wired them. Gals, however, run on love. They need to feel cared for and respected. Not helpless – they aren’t – but cared for and protected. This also means that guys and girls have different strengths and weaknesses. Often, ladies find it easier to express love. They are often quicker to come together in a community for help and support. Guys (to many ladies’ exasperation ;P) have pride (ooooh, I said it). All joking aside, they are less likely to automatically go to someone else and instead often try to figure it out on their own. However, their protective instincts are (or at least should be) off the charts. Personally, I think if the guy isn’t 1) Ready to try and work things out first and 2)Ready to fight in a heartbeat if working things out is impossible, then he probably isn’t ready to be a King. If I ever get married, I want my husband to be the type of man that, if he sees a woman getting harassed or attacked on the street, jumps in ready to do whatever is necessary to protect her. Sometimes, though, that just might mean giving up his pride to avoid bullets flying and potentially hurting someone. And I hope that if I ever get married my husband will be ready to do that too, because priorities. So, to get back on track, Queens are supposed to extend love and grace. However, they are also supposed to know where to draw the line.

Raising the children. In actuality, this is supposed to be a job for both the King and the Queen. They are supposed to raise their children well, in a Godly manner. They are in charge of teaching their children how to be Kings and Queens when they grow up. This includes looking for a King or Queen as their partner when they’re old enough. Teaching patience, wisdom, hope, love…the list goes on and on.  Sometimes, they might need help. Like it or not (usually not), sometimes kids don’t listen to their parents. Sometimes, they just need to hear it from someone else. Here’s the thing. When you’re a King or Queen, you don’t just speak truth into the people right around you. If you aren’t ready to speak truth in unexpected situations with people you may or may not know [well], are you really speaking truth to those around you?

And last (at least for now), Queens are supposed to submit to their husbands. Some ladies might not like this. Don’t take it from me, take it from God. In the bible God sets the husband as head of the house. This means that, yes, the King’s decisions overrule the Queen’s. You can discuss things with him, of course. But if, ultimately, he decides on something else, he is the head of the house. What he says, goes. And now is where, Queens, you want to make sure you are looking for a King and not settling for anything less. If it is a partnership between a King and Queen, both partners will be listening to each other and to the Lord, and often they will come to be on the same page. And here’s something that I think often gets in the way when a Queen has to make the decision to follow her King even when he does something she doesn’t like or doesn’t follow her advise. It’s Faith. Queens are supposed to have faith in their Kings. It’s not comfortable – but then again, is following God comfortable? Marriage is the closest thing we have to the relationship between God and the church. It is supposed to mirror that. And so Queens are supposed to have faith in their husbands. Of course he will make mistakes. He isn’t perfect (surprise, surprise). You make mistakes too, and you are also not perfect. But will yelling at him and getting on his case make anything better? No. When this happens, I can guarantee you he knows that he messed up. You will BOTH benefit more from supporting each other than from tearing each other down.

And of course, your job is not only to look for a King or Queen as a partner. “Why are you waiting to be treated like a Queen when you don’t know how to treat him like a King”. YOUR job, ladies, is not only to look for a King (if he’s a King, he will treat you like a Queen), but to be a Queen. You are ultimately in charge of yourself.

So, I’m thinking of making this a series (possibly featuring a guest King to speak to any guys out there). Let me know what you guys think! I know my thoughts were kind of disjointed both this post and part 1, so I apologize for that. Feel free to offer suggestions or ask questions, too! Thanks for reading!

Worry, Focus, and Other’s Worry

Well. I was gonna write about something else, but then something happened to derail that. Which is why I’m writing about worry, because that affected me most imminently and directly. So, let’s get to it!

My family has been having monetary struggles. I’ve been praying about it along with some other stuff, but I got kind of thrown off tonight. Three things I try to pray for fairly regularly is healing for my brother (he’s special needs, think baby in a fifteen-year-old body with a fifteen-year-olds strength and lots of health issues), healing for a friend (she has a chronic illness), and support for my family as they deal with my brother and money and anything and everything else (especially since my brother has/will go through several surgeries recently). Today, something happened (I won’t say what) that put a good strain on us. It included another cost and a lot of strain, especially on my dad. And when dad’s not happy, no one is. And I was sitting in the house, worrying and praying.

We hear it so often. “Don’t worry,” they say, “the Bible says that God will take care of you.” It’s heard so often I usually ignore it. I haven’t had to deal much with struggles along those lines, so that didn’t help it sink in. But today, I looked up the verses about worry. I know all the blabber, but I needed to be able to calm down and let the Bible help me give that worry to God. Situations like what happened are some of the worst for me; it’s when I most need alone time to go and think and calm down and I can’t because I have to take some of the burden from my parents. It’s when I’m so worried that I have a hard time breathing and kinda want to cry and I can’t because I don’t cry in front of others if I can help it. So, when I was dismissed to go watch the food, I looked up those verses on my phone. I won’t spout all the stuff you’ve heard before. If you want help with worrying, don’t listen to a person, just read the verses yourself. The Bible holds power humans just don’t.

This whole situation, however, also had me thinking about focus. I was worried, but my first thought was to pray, and then I kept praying. I was trying to focus not on the problem, but on who could fix it. That also sounds somewhat cliché, which I’m not a fan of, but it’s the truth. When I get worried about something, the first thing I need to do is pray. God says pray about everything, so it goes double to pray when there’s trouble. Once we focus on God – and when we dwell in Him – our troubles start being solved. Generally because God either solves them or provides a way or wisdom to solve them. So while money is still an issue for my family, I will continue to pray about it.

The last thing is about other’s worry, not my own. I mentioned above that the situation was one where I had to stay to help my parents. I feel pressure in these sorts of situations, but the pressure that my parents feel must be so much worse. “I am just really struggling”. They don’t say it often, but that often describes some point in their daily lives where everything is just coming down and they are so. worn. out. I worry, but I am able to deal with it. They can confide in each other, but they don’t fully – or even mostly – confide in either myself or others. I get bits and pieces, and others get bits and pieces. But my parents largely bear their burden alone. And even so, we’re lucky – we have a house, and food, and medical care. We have great friends. My friend, the one I call a sister, gets my brother off of the bus and helps my parents out fairly regularly. She’s also usually game to help watch the boys (I also have a six year old brother called Mr. Energy) and actually enjoys cleaning, which she will also do. She bails us out often. Our family, though they live a ways away (the nearest family member is 45 min away), also helps out a ton. We are so blessed, but how can my parents get away from the wear and tear of everyday life? They get a full day off usually only once a year, on their anniversary. I worry about their worry!

Which leads me to my main thought for the day. I pray about my parents. I pray about their stress, their worry, their health. I pray about their faith. I pray for my brother – I know how hard it is to deal with my parents when they’re majorly stressed. I pray, because God is the only way they can survive day-to-day. I can’t support my parents as much as I’d like to. They won’t let me, and quite honestly that level of commitment scares me. To have to put someone else’s needs before your own and let them dictate every second of your daily life…my parents can’t even just drop my brother off with someone and take a break because of his needs. How often do we pray for the people close to us? How often do we pray for people we aren’t even sure need it? How often do we pray for people who struggle under a daily burden? That’s a big one – so often we see the burden but don’t pray for it because it’s a part of daily life. I wonder – who else is praying for my parents? Who else is praying for their strength and serenity? Who else is praying for their life in general? What about you? Who else can you pray for? Worry is elusive. It tries to creep up on us quickly. Sometimes it’s like a smack in the face, sometimes it’s like a tickle or an itch you can’t scratch. The Bible tells us to take one day at a time. Foresight is important, but we are supposed to dwell in today. Overcome today’s obstacle, and pray for other’s. I very easily feel others pain, but that should just mean that I pray more. What about you?